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Useful Sleep Apnea Articles

Sleep Apnea and Oral Health

Sleep Apnea and Oral HealthSleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. While many things have been linked to sleep apnea, researchers have also found that palate and jaw abnormalities can be a big factor.

A recent study evaluated 40 children who had been diagnosed with sleep apnea-related breathing problems. The children, who ranged from 11 to 16, completed polysomnograph tests and completed questionnaires over the next four years. The children had a variety of orthodontic problems, including mouth breathing, abnormally arched or narrow palates, retruded jaw and lower anterior staining. The orthodontic issues were found to be strongly correlated to sleep apnea. While not all children have sleep apnea, it does become more common with age.

Early orthodontic treatment can address many of these problems. Early orthodontic treatment can guide the growth of the oral structures to create more space and ensure proper development of the jaw and skeleton. This may help reduce the risk of sleep apnea as the children reach adulthood.

Orthodontic treatment may also be recommended for adults with narrow palates or abnormal jaw structure. While the window of opportunity to guide the growth of the jaw may be closed, other orthodontic treatments may still be helpful. However, orthognathic surgery and similar interventions may be needed to achieve the best results. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our Thousand Oaks sleep apnea expert.

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