Airway issues - sleep apnea - OSAS - have hit the “mainstream” in dentistry, first concerning the adult patient, and now the child patient.
I am thrilled!
Why? Because there are so many children we can help!
For more than 25 years, as a teacher of orthodontics and pediatric dentist treating children orthodontically, I have been a voice in the wilderness - and in teaching - about the airway issues in children and how they negatively impact cranio-facial growth and the child's entire well-being.
So many signs and symptoms that conventional wisdom and literature have attributed to genetics - like growth pattern, allergies, and so on - actually usually have a different etiology than we’ve been believing. Instead of mom having the “same” Class II retrognathic mandible, indeed, mom has the “same” forward head posture”, related to her airway/breathing issues.
Signs of poor breathing/airway dysfunction: mouth-breathing, narrow tipped-up nose, tired eyes with ptosis, openmouthed posture, dry lips, vertical growth. © 2000 Dr Chris Baker
It is indeed the “same” as Dad - both Edwin and his dad spent early formative years with huge tonsils and inability to breathe nasally. Breathing is primary. We do what we must to breathe. Unknowingly posturing his mandible forward, bringing the tongue with it, due to the hyoid muscle attachments, allows Edwin, and allowed his father, to breathe through his mouth, bypassing his nose, and get the oxygen needed to survive.
So - Dad and Edwin grew similarly - Class III. The genetic etiology for this father and son pair has to do with tonsillar enlargement - and in Edwin’s case - is CHANGEABLE because he is still growing. Following removal of the tonsils and adenoids (adenoid tissue was enlarged as well), and expansion of his narrow palate, Edwin now breathes nasally. His Class III growth is diminishing (still habitual forward tongue.…).
As an early evangelist with this subject, having learned from Dr. Walter Doyle, I discovered that there was a huge volume of airway literature produced in the 1970’s, much of it led by Sten Linder-Aronson and Donald Woodside, Dudley Weider, Kenneth Nowak and colleagues, Donald Timms, and even Henri Petit.
They knew and published about what we think we are so smart to be “figuring out” now. Having been teaching and practicing this knowledge all these 25+ years, I am - yes - THRILLED - to see our “modern” thinking catching up to this body of knowledge.
which could indicate airway issues:
While we could spend hours on this topic - and I do in teaching - for now let’s just look at five things your patients might exhibit to let you know they have an airway problem or may have an airway problem. Because - if your patient begins breathing nasally, their growth and development is changed - starting immediately. So the five things?
1. Enuresis - Bedwetting;
2. ADHD, ADD, behavioral problems, manic-depressive disorder of childhood, aggressive behavior;
3. Lowered IQ and Learning disabilities;
4. Restless sleep and daytime fatigue;
5. Bruxism - tooth grinding.
These all reduce a child’s quality of life - experience of life - to a life with difficulties, struggles, and are very often changeable, thus unncecessary.
And you can be the one to guide the life-transformation.
"Normal healthy cells
turn into malignant cells
simply in the presence
of lowered O2." ~ Otto Warburg
Three things you can do to improve the child’s chance of nasal breathing and his/her life
You - the child’s orthodontist, dentist, pediatric dentist, can help - a LOT!!
- Ask and discover the signs and symptoms.
- Refer to the ENT.
- Expand the arch to just short of buccal crossbite
Nasal and sinus mucosa release nitric oxide,
a potent bronchodilator and vasodilator, hypotensive and it is bacteriostatic and virostatic.
There is more - so much more we can discuss about this topic.
Can you imagine, the lives you can change?
Can you imagine, how grateful the parents will be?
Can you imagine reducing the risk of adult sleep apnea in your now child patients?
Can you imagine, how wonderful for you?
Learn about the airway in children.
Contact me and I will be glad to help.