Emerald Coast Dental Sleep Medicine Offers New Treatment for Children’s Sleep Apnea

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Sleep apnea affects children as well as adults. To help cure children’s sleep apnea, Emerald Coast Dental Spa & Emerald Coast Dental Sleep Medicine has added the DNA Appliance.

There has been a breakthrough in the treatment of children’s sleep apnea and craniofacial/airway enhancement. The alternative treatment is the DNA Appliance, created by Dr. David Singh. The DNA Appliance alters the size of the oral cavity permanently, thus providing an ample increase in airway dimension. It is a non-intrusive and comfortable device that is worn evenings and nights and can be fitted with an extension loop that holds the soft tissue in place when sleeping.    

The DNA is the first of its kind to function as a cure for sleep apnea. Call Dr. Tara Griffin at Emerald Coast Dental Sleep Medicine for a free consultation and/or more information regarding the DNA Oral Appliance. Dr. Griffin is one of 14 dentists in the state of Florida certified to fit the DNA Appliance.

The latest research regarding sleep apnea concludes that children and adults demonstrate different symptoms. Children seem to experience hyperactivity when sleep is disrupted and are subject to unexpected behavioral changes. The behavior changes also include aggression, attention deficits and inappropriate behavior. This can be misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Sleep Apnea is associated with middle age and older, but it is common in youth. Behavior resulting from the disorder is easily mistaken for hyperactivity rather than fatigue.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the upper airway is blocked during sleep, preventing adequate oxygen from reaching the brain. In children younger than five years, symptoms of sleep apnea include breathing from the mouth, sweating, restlessness and waking up frequently during the night. Children older than five tend to experience hyperactivity, poor academic performance, hostility, bedwetting, slow growth, short attention span and may sleep in unusual positions.

Experts fear that children are misdiagnosed with deficit hyperactivity disorder and are medicated to mask the symptoms of sleep apnea. The symptoms for ADHD are hyperactivity, distractibility and impulsivity. These are subjective and descriptors of a normally developing child, however the symptoms can also be caused by sleep apnea/sleep disorders, leading to misdiagnosis.

When left untreated, sleep apnea can affect part of the brain involved in learning, thwarting cognitive function and academic performance. Sleep apnea can also alter normal growth patterns and contribute to childhood obesity. The new research reveals that sleep apnea may lead to long-term health complication such as high blood pressure and heart disease that become present during adulthood.
There are several nonsurgical ways to treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

For more information, call the Emerald Coast Dental Sleep Medicine clinic at 850-249-9331.

About the company:
Emerald Coast Dental Sleep Medicine's mission is to exceed their patients’ expectations in providing exceptional care and service. Tara Griffin DMD, PA wants her patients to know that in their office, they can expect to be treated with respect at all times. ECDSM strives to deliver the best diagnosis and treatment that dentistry has to offer. They believe that these goals can be met through a continuous and open dialogue between the patient and the entire team. Dr. Griffin practices general dentistry and Dental Sleep Medicine, treating sleep disorders and sleep apnea. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.ecdsm.com.

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Marilyn Fenimore
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