There has been a lot of discussion recently in the dental world about connection with sleep related breathing disorders (SRBD) and other serious medical conditions. The ADA (American Dental Association) has even released an official statement on their current view of the dental practitioner’s role in identifying, treating, and helping to prevent some of these serious issues.
Here is a piece of their statement explaining what SRBD encompasses:
“Sleep related breathing disorders (SRBD) are disorders characterized by disruptions in normal breathing patterns. SRBDs are potentially serious medical conditions caused by anatomical airway collapse and altered respiratory control mechanisms. Common SRBDs include snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA has been associated with metabolic, cardiovascular, respiratory, dental and other diseases. In children, undiagnosed and/or untreated OSA can be associated with cardiovascular problems, impaired growth as well as learning and behavioral problems.”
The Role of Dentistry in the Treatment of Sleep Related Breathing Disorders
-Adopted by ADA’s 2017 House of Delegates.
They go on to discuss that the dental office is a great opportunity to start identifying some of these signs and symptoms and collaborate with other medical providers to treat and help to prevent some of these illnesses.
Early Identification Is Critical
The early identification of signs in children is pivotal to early intervention and treatment with medical or dental providers to prevent some of the consequences later in life. Some of these early signs can include long term allergy issues, snoring, prolonged bed wetting, attention deficit disorder, etc.
Airway Issues Lead To Developmental Issues
When children have compromised airway issues at a young age that are not addressed, their growth and development is altered and can lead to serious issues as adults. It has been known for a long time that sleep apnea can be related to high blood pressure, cardiac disease, type II diabetes, and other qualities of life that are affected due to lack of sleep and lack of oxygen. We are now starting to identify how we got here as adults. It can be life changing for an adult to finally start getting sleep during a night, not to mention the oxygen. What if we could prevent it from ever getting to that point?
Several Dental Options Available
There are several options for treating sleep apnea in adults, and there are many interceptive treatments in children that can alter people’s lives forever. If you think you, someone you know, or your child are displaying any of these symptoms, talk to your medical or dental provider. It could be life changing.