Learn to Identify and Treat Sleep Disordered Breathing with Dr. Meghna Dassani DMD
Sleep is essential for our health, our mood, and our ability to learn and grow. Often, when a person’s sleep becomes disturbed, the symptoms slowly appear. With each night of poor sleep, the person grows more exhausted, more prone to disease, more fuzzy-headed and more emotional.
When a child has sleeping difficulties from birth, the problem is compounded. There is no “before, when sleep was good.” Instead, the child is pegged as a problem child. They’re cranky. They’re colicky. These children nurse constantly. They don’t nurse well. As they get older, they’re slow to develop, they’re oppositional, they have attention issues. The child is saddled with labels to describe symptoms, but the underlying problem, the sleep issues, goes unnoticed.
What if it was possible to identify and treat sleep issues in a dental practice? What if your adult and pediatric patients could receive the care they need in a familiar and convenient location?
Dr. Meghna Dassani DMD, is passionate about promoting healthy sleep through dental practices. In following the ADA’s 2017 guideline on sleep apnea screening and treatment, she has helped many children and adults improve their sleep, their breathing, and their lives. Her books and seminars help parents and practitioners understand the essential roles of the tongue, palate, and jaw in promoting healthy sleep.
When Your Child Has Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Does your child breathe through his mouth? Is she inattentive or hyperactive during the day? Do you notice problems with bad breath or allergies? Has anyone ever commented that your child has a narrow palate and may need teeth pulled to make more room?
Underlying physical issues may be contributing to your child’s health and behavior issues. When a child has an unrevised tongue-tie, it can affect the formation of the palate. This, in turn, can affect the development of the airways and lead to Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB). A child who is not sleeping well is not growing well, developing well, or learning well. There are ways to correct the underlying physical issues and start your child on the road to healthy sleep.
Undetected Sleep Disordered Breathing in Adult Patients
Many adults suffer from Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB). Often, they fail to notice their symptoms, because they’ve never lived without them. They may be diagnosed with ADHD, have asthma, suffer from recurrent sinus infections or just wake up every morning feeling more tired than when they went to sleep.
Adult patients in your dental practice can also benefit from screenings for sleep apnea or other forms of sleep-disordered breathing. Many adults first learn of their own underlying issues when their children are diagnosed and treated for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Family dentists should be familiar with the treatment of OSA and SDB in both adults and children. Dr. Dassani offers Adult Sleep Apnea Online Course in addition to her Healthy Sleep, Happy Kids courses.
Treating Pediatric Sleep Apnea, Healing Families
For many families with children, the dental office is a focal point in the continuity of care.
Sick children usually go to urgent care. In many medical practices, a rotation of Nurse Practitioners and Physician’s Assistants see patients for check-ups. A child may only see their actual pediatrician occasionally. Parents must coordinate between different specialists. No one in the doctor’s office sees the child often enough to connect the dots and spot underlying conditions.
Meanwhile, these same children see their dentist twice a year, often for decades. The dentist is one of the few professionals who carefully examines a child’s jaw, tongue, and palate. If a child has the symptoms of sleep apnea, professionals in the dental office can spot the problem, identify root causes, and develop treatment plans.
Sleep apnea affects all aspects of a child’s development and behavior. When you help a child sleep well, you change their lives and often relieve family tensions. Are you interested in adding sleep apnea treatments to your pediatric dental practice? Visit our Pediatric Course Portal to discover how you can improve the futures of your youngest patients.