Sleep Apnea and the Dental Chair

As the centerpiece of a dental office, the dental chair offers
unique access to the oral cavity, a gateway to the entire body,
where we as dentists and orthodontists observe either
detriments or precursors to well-being. In fact, the six month
dental visit outdoes the yearly trip to the doctor
(mathematically) in keeping with good health and warding off
problems.

A quick online check can reveal how an exam of the
mouth's structure and chemistry can detect certain and
various habits and maladies that may be harrowing to health.
One such malady in society today is undiagnosed Sleep Apnea,
a breathing disorder that decreases airflow during sleep
compromising REM, the fourth stage, or deep sleep needed by
the body to restore itself. This affliction while harmful to the
human condition in general, can be absolutely oppressive in
the lives of children, presenting as poor attention span,
challenging behavioral issues, and sub-standard school
performance. Added to this, left undetected, nocturnal
breathing disturbances are a portal to serious adult
impairments, diseases and increased health care use.

When a child is brought into our office many parents are aware
that dental caries and periodontal status are being evaluated;
most don't know that we are singularly positioned to screen for
obstructive sleep apnea (as it) originates in the oral cavity and
associated structures; or that pediatric treatments and
recommendations differ from those of adults, if you have
witnessed restlessness, snoring or breathing pauses in your
sleeping child, let's get them into the dental chair.

Author
Century City Orthodontics Dr. Shawn Saidian

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