Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is quickly becoming a hot topic in dentistry. Many dentists are now making oral sleep appliances for adults with sleep apnea to alleviate a tongue-based airway obstruction. What might not be such common knowledge is the high prevalence of sleep-disturbed breathing in children and adolescents. In fact, up to 17% of children under age 6 experience some form of sleep apnea or snoring. Many of these children are later misdiagnosed and treated for ADHD because of bad behavior and poor academic performance. Other signs/symptoms of pediatric sleep apnea include:
- Decreased growth of one or both jaws
- Tooth grinding
- Chronic nasal congestion or nose bleeds
- Hyperactivity/bad behavior/problems in school
Sleep apnea in children and adults has been associated with neurocognitive deficits, depression, heart conditions, and metabolic abnormalities. So, it is clear to see why treatment of sleep apnea is imperative for maximizing a child’s developmental potential and overall health.
In addition to 4 year of dental school and 2.5 years of orthodontic school, Dr. Soleil received an additional 1.5 years of specialty fellowship training in Craniofacial Orthodontics where she learned about pediatric sleep apnea from the incredible sleep physicians at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Soleil currently teaches a Pediatric Sleep Apnea Orthodontics clinic to the orthodontic graduate students at the University of Washington on Tuesday afternoons. She has lectured at multiple national meetings for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, as well as locally in Washington state.
Dr. Soleil will evaluate your child for airway concerns and will focus treatment on addressing these sleep and breathing issues. Please inform Dr. Soleil if you or your child have had treatment for sleep apnea, had adenoids/tonsils removed, are using CPAP/BiPAP, have allergies/asthma, or have other concerns related to breathing.