As much as 7% of the American population or 18 million people suffer from sleep apnea. Most of those people are adults, but up to 2% of children are also affected, with the majority being under one year of age. The most common symptom of sleep apnea is chronic snoring, but the most significant symptom is restless sleep. People with sleep apnea often wake up groggy and lacking energy, which affects many aspects of their physical, mental, and emotional health throughout the day. A simple treatment has yet to be discovered, but a growing body of research suggests that the solution is on the tip of your tongue:
Why is the Tongue Important?
Like all your muscles, your tongue relaxes when you sleep. Depending on the size and shape of your tongue and mouth, the relaxed tongue can end up blocking your airway. You end up snoring as you fight to bring enough oxygen into your lungs. Or, if the blockage is great enough, you wake up because you can’t breathe.
Tongue Tie Tied To Sleep Apnea
Your tongue is not the only cause of sleep apnea. But it is a leading cause, and one of the few factors that you can take steps to fix. If you suspect that your tongue might be leading to your lethargy during the day, take the following steps:
- Check the Size of Your Tongue – Sit in front of a mirror, and stick your tongue out as far as it will go. If you can clearly see the soft tissue at the back of the tongue and the uvula hanging in your throat, you do not have a large tongue. But if your tongue partially covers these areas, it is bigger or longer than normal, could be contributing to your sleep apnea.
- Add Strength to Your Tongue – The tongue is a muscle, meaning that you can make it stronger through exercise. Try placing the tip of your tongue right behind your top teeth and holding it in position for five minutes. Do that same thing but make a “tsk” sound over and over. Finally, tilt your head back and slide your tongue from the front to the back of your mouth repeatedly.
- Tongue Tie Tied To Sleep Apnea- The position of the tongue is so import because it is supposed to rest on the roof of the mouth, ultimately providing a support system for the upper jaw. A properly placed tongue is a sign of strong muscles and a healthy airway. When a child suffers from tongue tie, the tongue is located lower in the mouth and is a sign that muscles aren’t properly functioning. Tongue tie can contribute to airway obstruction, which is a major factor when it comes to breathing during sleep and can be a direct cause to your child’s sleep apnea problem.
If your child is suffering from tongue tie, make sure they are monitored while sleeping and contact Palm Beach Pediatric right away. Dr. Saadia I. Mohammed can make a proper diagnosis and recommend an effective course of treatment for your child. If tongue tie and/or sleep apnea is affecting your child, make sure to call Palm Beach Pediatric Dentistry today at (561) 477-3535.