11% of U.S. children have been diagnosed with ADHD. Meanwhile, 2-4% of U.S. children suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when something partly blocks the airways. This results in breathing that can pause for seconds, or even minutes, before normal breathing starts again. To make matters more complicated, the symptoms of ADHD are startlingly similar to those of sleep apnea. However, visiting a childrens dentist in Boca Raton can help with a proper diagnosis.
What Are Signs of OSA?
Children suffering from sleep deprivation caused by OSA can be hyperactive and moody. Growing evidence suggests that some children suffering from OSA-induced sleep deprivation have been misdiagnosed with ADHD because they share symptoms of hyperactivity, attention problems, and behavioral or mood problems. If OSA is misdiagnosed as ADHD, it only makes conditions worse.
In addition to these shared symptoms, a child with OSA may exhibit:
- Pauses in breathing, choking sounds, or small gasps for breath during sleep
- Frequent open-mouthed breathing
- Agitated sleep with frequent posture changes
- Excessive sweating
- Abnormal sleep positions (such as sleeping while sitting up or with the neck hyperextended)
- Morning headaches
- Poor appetite
- Complaints of waking up with dry mouth
Most importantly, if your child has OSA, you will notice that ADD or ADHD medications aren’t helping.
See a Childrens Dentist in Boca Raton for More on OSA
At Palm Beach Pediatric Dentistry, we believe in a Wholistic approach to dentistry. Our staff aims to treat your child in a meaningful way that encompasses both their oral and overall health. Contact us today to schedule your child’s next appointment!