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Pediatric Dentistry » Airway Dentistry

Innovative Airway Dentistry for Children's Health in Watauga, TX

Lively children seem to always be out of breath. We enjoy watching our kids wear themselves out rushing through the playground, but if they’re huffing and gasping during downtime or sleep there’s likely an issue. Our expert team provides thorough examinations to diagnose and treat your child’s respiratory problems to breathe freely.

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What is Airway Dentistry?

Airway dentistry is a treatment that improves breathing function as well as systemic and facial growth. Dentistry has a close relationship with the breathing systems. We use a combination of tools to support your child’s oral structure for healthy breathing patterns. Airway expansion can improve upper airway, allergies, stuffy nose, and sleep for overall health, prevent future oral problems, and even improve facial structure and posture.

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Benefits of Airway Dentistry

  • Support healthy growth: Early airway support ensures your child’s mouth and face structure develop in a healthy way securing patient airway passages for better oxygen intake.
  • More fulfilling sleep: Treating childhood sleep apnea and disruption gives them their nightly peace back. Better sleep means better focus to excel in school, life and more.
  • Prevents future problems: Children are most responsive to early intervention. We’ll help their growing mouths avoid costly orthodontic and dental treatments in the future.
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Does My Child Need Airway Dentistry?

Restricted breathing has many different causes. During your child’s visit, we’ll examine their oral structure and discuss their breathing and sleep habits with you. Since their airway passages may be constricted during rest, sleep deprivation is common with many symptoms to look out for. Orthodontic issues, uncontrolled, asthma, allergies, or tongue and lip-ties are other cases where airway therapy could be beneficial.

A dental exam is always the best place to start, but here are a few other symptoms you might recognize with your child at home:

  • Audible breathing
  • Snoring or heavy breathing during sleep
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Frequent bedwetting
  • Night time sweating
  • Dry mouth or sore throat after waking up
  • Allergies
  • Mouth breathing during the day or sleep
  • Difficulty catching breath
  • Restless sleep
  • Crowded primary teeth
  • Hyperactivity and poor focus – ADHD Diagnosis
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Excessive temper tantrums

Can Children Develop Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder that causes breathing to stop periodically during sleep. The obstructive part usually refers to the tongue or throat muscles blocking the airway. This not only means sufferers don’t get a good night’s sleep, but it also increases the risk of other health problems, particularly cardiovascular issues like heart attack and stroke. Symptoms include snoring, waking up out of breath, sleepiness during the day, headaches, and even high blood pressure.

You probably associate this sleep disorder with adults, but children can develop OSA as well. However, the Mayo Clinic reports that pediatric OSA can present differently. Symptoms are similar to those for other airway issues, like mouth breathing, bed-wetting, sweating at night, and sleep terrors. Children with sleep apnea might fail to thrive, have an increased risk of developing diabetes and heart conditions, and may experience problems like:

  • Poor weight gain or growth
  • Behavioral problems 
  • Falling behind at school
  • Difficulty concentrating or staying on task

While similar to other airway problems, sleep apnea requires its own targeted treatment. This is because we need to address the obstructive part of obstructive sleep apnea. The problem can be the tonsils or adenoids blocking the airway. Orthodontic misalignments can also contribute, as can having too narrow of a jaw or palate. 

In any case, Aviator Pediatric Dentistry offers sleep apnea-specific airway dentistry services from our expert Watauga dentist. Our early orthodontic care can help keep the airway open. For instance, jaw and palate expanders can make more room in the mouth, allowing better airflow. We can also work to address issues with tonsils or treat allergies. Acting when your child is 3 to 6 years old lets us perform less invasive treatments that grow with them. With early action, you can give them restful nights now and protect their sleep in the future.

Airway Therapy Treatment

A range of causes requires a range of solutions. We aim to relieve breathing problems at the source and use the best approach for your child’s needs.

  • Myofunctional therapy: This exercise-based solution resembles physical therapy to improve the muscular function of the tongue, mouth, and face. This treatment increases muscular awareness to build healthy habits for improving breathing, speech, and chewing, and swallowing.
  • Oral appliances: Similar to retainers, oral appliances can aid in increasing airway passages and holding the airway open and support healthy development of the palate and jaw. They also function as early orthodontic care to promote space for well-positioned teeth.
  • Frenectomies: Tongue and lip-tie restrict movement of the tongue and upper lip. This may have an affect on your child’s ability to eat and breathe normally. A frenectomy releases the constrictive pressure in their mouth to breathe freely and comfortably.
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The Airway health solutions is a collaborative team of airway center doctors from childhood to adulthood. We are proud to announce we are now part of their referral network and Airway Health Solutions Community!  

Airway Health Solutions Verified Airway Dentist™
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Clear Airways For Healthy Smiles

Your child’s breathing and oral health go hand in hand. Our team’s top goal is allowing your child the best chance to live a healthy, successful lifestyle. If your child is showing symptoms of airway troubles or sleep apnea, contact us today to set up a consultation.

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