The Hidden Health Risks of Mouth Breathing and Snoring in Kids

Like adults, children experience snoring and mouth breathing problems too. According to the National Sleep Foundation, snoring in children happens mostly on occasion and about 10 percent or more snore at night. If your child snores, there is also a good chance that he/she is also a mouth breather. Most often, children can’t communicate the signs and symptoms associated with snoring and mouth breathing. When children snore at night, there is some blockage or narrowing of their airways. This means that the opening and closing of the air passage causes tissues of the throat to vibrate. Mouth breathing, on the other hand, happens due to a partial or complete blockage of the nasal airway and as a compensatory mechanism, children use their mouth to breathe as it is the only source of oxygen that can enter the lungs.

Snoring and difficulty breathing during sleep are the most common complaints of parents of children with Obstruction Sleep Apnea (OSA), with more than 96 percent reports of such symptoms. If you suspect your child has this problem or other related breathing disorder, your initial step is to bring your child to a pediatrician. If the cause of the problem is related to enlarged adenoids, they will refer your child to an ENT for an evaluation.

Orthodontists play a vital role in treating children with OSA or snoring and mouth breathing problems. Schedule your child to see an orthodontist as early as signs and symptoms of OSA or mouth breathing and snoring problems occur. There are a number of oral appliances that an orthodontist might suggest could help treat mouth breathing and snoring problems. If the orthodontist detects facial, mouth, teeth abnormalities as early as possible, your child can have a more pleasing and balanced facial profile, and mouth breathing and snoring symptoms can be eliminated. A palate expander is sometimes used to make room for adult teeth and help increase airflow.

If your child is experiencing symptoms of mouth breathing and problems with snoring, consult us at Windermere Orthodontics as soon as you can. Our offices are conveniently located in Suwanee and Cumming.

-Dr. Gorlovsky