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Thursday, February 07. 2013
Enter to Win Dinner for Two at Chili's: Write a paragraph telling AOTMJ who your valentine is and why they are special. You can write your entry at our office, leave it on our facebook page, mail it to our Chambers and Hampden office 14991 E. Hampden Ave Suite 300 Aurora, CO 80014 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guess how many candy hearts are in the jar at your appointment this month. The person who makes the correct guess or comes closest will win a surprise gift card. You can also check out our facebook page to make a guess.
Color a fun Valentine's Day inspired picture to be placed in our reception area. Add some of your creativity to our lovely office.
We hope everyone has a great month!
Monday, January 28. 2013
What Really Causes Crooked Teeth?
According to The Healthy Home Economist (January 5, 2012), the real factor that is related to the modern epidemic of crooked teeth is the rise of modern food processing, but not because such foods are softer than unprocessed foods. Rather, processed and industrialized foods are devoid of the critical nutrients necessary to produce a broad and sturdy jaw with correspondingly straight teeth. The researcher, Dr. Price compellingly argues that a lack of jaw development and crooked teeth is entirely nutritional in origin such as attempting to build a wide bridge with substandard materials. Without essential nutrients in the form of minerals and the fat soluble activators A, D, K2 which were abundant in primitive diets, the jaw and palate cannot form with enough strength to support a broad facial structure. Hence, narrowing of the face and crooked teeth are the result no matter how hard the food that is chewed.
This agrees with my thought on this subject. That is why Aurora Orthodontist and TMJ recommends widening narrow jaw structures before straightening teeth. This treatment helps to eliminate unnecessary extractions and gives that full movie star smile.
Child Breathing Disorders are Related to Narrow Upper Jaws and Enlarged Tonsils, not the Child being Overweight
Monday, January 28. 2013
Newsflash: In December, 2012, The European Journal of Pediatrics Reported Child Breathing Disorders (including sleep apnea) are Related to Narrow Upper Jaws and Enlarged tonsils, not the child being overweight. In a study of 491 children, ages 6-8, 10% had some form of Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB). Children with narrow upper jaws were shown to be three times more likely to have SDB than the general population. Enlarged tonsils also were a predictive favor and gave the likelihood of having SDB over three times as mush as the population without enlarged tonsils. There was no difference in the prevalence of overweight, obesity or body fat percentage between children with SDB and those without it.
Study Conclusion: Abnormal craniofacial morphology, but not excess body fat, is associated with an increased risk of having SDB in 6-8 year old children, A simple model of necessary clinical examinations (i.e. facial profile, dental occlusion and tonsils) is recommended to recognize children with an increased risk of SDB.
My thoughts on this study: This study confirms my own clinical observations that child breathing disorders should be addressed as early as a doctor or parent discovers them. I stress this point in my book "STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT CROOKED TEETH". In chapter 5, I state: A person's ability to breathe properly through his/her nose, without obstruction, is critical to his/her health and vitality in many ways; it cannot be overemphasized as a health or quality-of-life issue. Obstructions, whatever their cause, need to be evaluated and eliminated. Period!
The astute parent or the child's doctor or dentist can recognize an airway obstruction by listening to a baby or very young child during either waking or sleeping hours. Excessive noise made by the child while breathing is a sign of an obstructed nasal passageway. This problem, at whatever age it's detected, is entirely treatable and must be addressed. Even in the absense of breathing noise, an orthodontist should evaluate every child by age 7. If a narrow jaw is present, it's correction should begin early to promote more ideal facial development.
Good News: Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids are now recognized by the medical community as a primary cause of childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Tuesday, November 20. 2012
Good News: Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids are now recognized by the medical community as a primary cause of childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
S. Kent Lauson, DDS, MS, Orthodontists, Aurora, CO
When I was a child in the 1950's virtually every youngster, including myself, has his or her tonsils and/or adenoids removed. For Several decades following, tonsillectomies were part of accepted medical wisdom, whether the tonsils were infected or not. Eventually it was debated whether or not it was appropriate t routinely remove tonsils; the pendulum swung the other way and for several decades almost no one has them removed at all. Fast-forward to today where many family physicians and pediatricians still have resisted removed of tonsils and adenoids even though they may obstruct the nasal passageway. Most doctors have used a formula to decide when adenotonsilectomys should occur: If three or more infection episodes occur in a twelve-month period, approval for removal is granted. There has been little consideration as to removal of tonsils for any other reason than infections such as tonsillitis or strep throat.
Continue reading "Good News: Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids are now recognized by the medical community as a primary cause of childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnea."
Thursday, September 01. 2011
The BIG day is
This Saturday, Sept.
Join us as we celebrate our 3rd Year Anniversary in the Southlands
No matter what the weather has
If you are a current or former patient of ours, be sure to wear
WHEN: Saturday, September 17th
WHERE: Right here at AOTMJ (rain or
24301 East Orchard Road
Aurora, CO 80016
Saturday, June 11. 2011
Twenty years ago I did a presentation to the American Association of Orthodontists entitled “The Occlusal, TMJ, Cervical Connection” At that time there seemed to be a lack of understanding about the relationship of the teeth and how they effected cervical spine (neck) health. I also did a piece for patients called “Teeth and Posture” which demonstrated how a person’s bite can affect the way they habitually hold their head. A poor head posture will lead to problems with the neck and back. In recent years there has been an increasing awareness that Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a major health threat to millions of Americans. Estimates are that the incidence OSA could be as high as 28-38% of adults and 18% in children. An early sign of OSA is mild to moderate snoring and should be a red flag driving a person to seek medical help. It has been well established that OSA can lead to heart disease and even death do to choking in the middle of the night. This condition can reduce a persons life expectancy by 10 years or more. Sleep centers have been popping up in every major city in America to verify the medical necessity for treatment of this serious disorder.
Currently the most recommended method of treatment for this disorder is the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) Machine, which the patient wears at night covering the lower face to force air in while a person is sleeping. Although this can be a lifesaver for the individual suffering from OSA, it also can be difficult for the patient to accept for social reasons. The second most accepted method of treatment is the use of an oral appliance which effectively brings the lower jaw forward while the person is sleeping. By bringing the jaw forward, the obstruction in the back of the throat is cleared and OSA and snoring are stopped.
There can be complications with either of these methods of treatment. One such complication can be the effect on the jaw joints. Because the lower jaw on an OSA patient is typically retruded, and deep overbites are common, bringing the jaw forward at night may relieve the Sleep Apnea, but over time the jaw may accommodate to the more forward position. This can be a problem in that the teeth no longer fit together and the only teeth in contact may be the front teeth. This makes it difficult to chew and can lead to damage to those teeth taking the brunt of the chewing.
If the patient has a deep overbite prior to starting the dental OSA appliance therapy and excessive ware on the front teeth, then the previously stated adverse scenario is likely to happen. Knowing this likely outcome necessitates a more comprehensive approach in the planning stage. This more comprehensive solution involves the use of Dentofacial Orthopedics (to widen the upper jaw increasing airflow through the nasal passageway) and a mouthpiece (orthotic) to hold the jaw forward during the day as well as night. These approaches can get the facial bone structures aligned properly for a final step of braces (orthodontics).
I know this sounds complicated, and it is, but this is the only way (short of facial reconstructive surgery) to a permanent solution for the problem described. This all can be accomplished within a two to two and a half year process. The end result can be a lifetime of pleasant dreams without the restriction of a CPAP or even an oral appliance to get that much needed sleep.
By S. Kent Lauson, DDS, MS
Aurora Orthodontics & TMJ
Posted by at 17:20
Tuesday, May 24. 2011
By S. Kent Lauson, DDS, MS
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Jones, there just isn’t enough room in the bone structure of Johnny’s jaws for all of his teeth. We need four teeth removed. Then we’ll have enough room to straighten all the remaining teeth.” This communication has been heard millions of times in orthodontic offices throughout the United States over the last few decades. The question is, “Is it still necessary to remove teeth to straighten the remaining teeth to get a healthy, beautiful smile?”
Dentofacial Orthopedics – An idea whose time has come.
One of the biggest dilemmas in the profession and perhaps the most debated question in orthodontics in the last hundred years continues to be, “Is it necessary to remove permanent teeth to get the best result with a particular patient in terms of beauty, function and stability?”
In the Past
Since the 1940’s, traditional orthodontics has taught in the university graduate programs, the idea that in many cases, the removal of certain permanent teeth is necessary. Their teaching emphasizes the use of braces without the enhancement of removable treatment appliances. Sadly, although losing much appeal in recent years, the extraction methods are still taught at universities in the U.S. who teach new orthodontists. Also, these methods are still used by many practicing orthodontists.
In Europe during the same time a movement toward using removable treatment appliances was underway. These appliances, called “functional appliances” or dentofacial orthopedic appliances, concentrated on helping the patient develop proper size and relationships of jaw and facial structures. At that time, the European orthodontists, to a great extent, performed their treatment completely without braces while American orthodontists performed theirs without the aid of the removable functional appliances so common in Europe. Braces as developed in the U. S. are much better than removable treatment appliances for aligning individual teeth, however, removable functional appliances are much better than braces for enlarging and aligning inadequately developed facial bone structures. Logically, both methods should be used where dental crowding or jaw mismatches occur (overbites, underbites, etc.). It is the combination of these two methods of treatment that has allowed me to treat even complex cases without removal of teeth or surgery and consistently get beautiful results.
Why are so many teeth removed in traditional orthodontics?
Essentially there are two primary reasons traditional orthodontics has called for the removal of permanent teeth:
1. The first is because of dental crowding. It is important to know that almost never is crowding because the teeth are too large but because the jaw bone structures are under developed or too narrow. Removing teeth in this situation is not the best approach because the patient ends up with straight teeth but smaller than ideal jaw structures. This detracts from facial appearance and can have negative health consequences. Dentofacial orthopedics can handle the problem of constricted jaw bones very nicely, by enlarging them to ideal.
2. The second reason for removing permanent teeth is the existence of a mismatch between the upper and lower jaws and teeth that resulting in an overbite. When an overbite exists, the lower jaw is held back from its normal growth as it is trapped by the teeth in the upper jaw. In this type of case, traditional orthodontics many times has called for the removal of two permanent upper first bicuspid teeth to resolve this mismatch. The upper front teeth are then brought back to match the lower front teeth. This is not a good solution, because the problem is not the position of the upper teeth but the retruded position of the lower jaw. Bringing the upper front teeth back in these cases, does not correct the recessed lower jaw, causing not only the recessed appearance, but a flattening of the lip area and an increased prominence of the nose. Additionally, the lower jaw continuing to be displaced too far back creates a set up for jaw joint (TMJ) problems to develop in the future. This brings out a bigger issue; traditional orthodontic training doesn’t address the importance of preventing future TMJ dysfunctions.
To correct cases with dental crowding and overbites, with proper dentofacial orthopedic treatment, the removal of permanent bicuspid teeth is not indicated over 99% of the time. Extreme protrusion of teeth or lack of patient cooperation can make the removal of certain permanent teeth necessary. However, proper wearing of functional orthopedic appliances can help to correct alignment of the jaw structures, and properly balance facial structures and create a full, beautiful smile, without unnecessary removal of permanent teeth or surgery.
What is typical with this type of treatment?
Typically the orthopedic removable appliance phase will start approximately by age 10. There is excellent growth ahead and patient cooperation is generally at a peak. Also, the final permanent teeth will typically be coming in within the next two years. Patient responsibility and cooperation are generally very good at this age as well. The problems of upper or lower jaw bone size and relationship are addressed during this initial orthopedic phase which typically lasts from four months to as long as a year.
Many options of removable and some fixed appliances are available to select from during this phase based on the patient’s needs. After this phase, another year with braces or Invisalign is effective during the growing years, but even after their normal growth, adults can still benefit. Surgery and teeth extractions can be avoided in almost all cases with no compromise in results.
Advantages of removable orthopedic appliances
1. They are inconspicuous, comfortable and relatively easy to adjust to.
2. They can be removed to clean the teeth and gums.
3. Treatment can be accomplished without tooth removal or surgery in over 95% of the cases.
4. Treatment can be initiated earlier, before all the permanent teeth come in.
5. Fuller, more beautiful smiles, pleasing facial profiles and healthy temporomandibular joints (jaw joints) can be the result.
Photos before treatment showing narrow arches, protruding teeth and recessed lower jaw.
Photos after treatment showing expanded arch forms, corrected bite, and more balanced profile.
Dr. Kent Lauson
Posted by at 00:25
Monday, May 23. 2011
By S. Kent Lauson, DDS, MS, FICCMO, orthodontist and David T. Grove, DMD, MS, MSEd, MSc, Orthodontist and CEO Next Generation Education
Strange as it may seem, there is increasing evidence that people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease have the likelihood of having TMJ (jaw joint) Dysfunctions and that proper treatment of this disorder by a qualified dentist can help alleviate the symptoms of the disease. At a recent conference sponsored by the Parkinson’s Resource Organization & American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, speakers representing various medical disciplines including dentistry, orthopedic surgery, chiropractic and neurology relayed remarkable case studies and explanations of how neurologic disorders can be caused by problems with the jaw joint. Although they were quick to point out that this is NOT A CURE for Parkinson’s disease; the results of a correction of jaw dysfunction in many cases have been astounding with all typical symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease being reduced or eliminated. Those symptoms include a long list going well beyond the hand and body tremors and slow movement or shuffling of feet. What is particularly exciting is that this type of treatment does not use drugs with all their side effects, but involves the strategic use of a special mouth piece called a Mandibular orthotic to correct the jaw relationship.
When the relationship of the jaw is corrected, many nerves and blood vessels at the back of the jaw joint are no longer are being pinched and can be restored to normal function. You see, that area in the back part of the jaw joint accounts for blood vessels that go directly to the brain, and nerves that account for a high percentage of neural impulses to the brain. We know that Parkinson’s patients have a low amount of Dopamine in the brain, a necessary neurotransmitter or an ingredient which allows normal brain function. Incidentally, people with ADHD also are low in Dopamine and may be helped by this treatment. This lack of Dopamine can be the result of Chronic Brain Stress due to postural misalignment body structures, especially the jaw joints (TMJ’s) and the bite, since a strong neural and vascular connection to the brain exists in the jaw joints.
Dentists who specialize in this type of treatment are available in most cities of a decent size. The dentists who do this type of treatment can found through one of these organizations;
1. American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, Telephone, call 800.322.8651 or online at www.aacf.org
2. International College of Craniomandibular Disorders, call 800.446.1763 or online at www.iccmo.org
For information about Parkinson’s Resource Organization call 877.775.4111 or online at www.parkinsonsresource.org
Or for further information the authors can be reached at:
Dr. Lauson’s contact information:
Dr S. Kent Lauson
Aurora Orthodontics & TMJ
24301 E Orchard Road,
Aurora, CO 80016
303.690.0100 or www.aotmj.com
Dr. Grove’s contact information:
Dr. David T. Grove
Next Generation Education
10408 Mezzanino Court
Las Vegas, NV 89135
702.278.8700 or www.nged.org
Posted by at 00:18
Wednesday, May 11. 2011
Low oxygen may spur genes to create blood vessels
AURORA, Colo. (March 25, 2011) – In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in partnership with the Harvard School of Global Health have found that people living at higher altitudes have a lower chance of dying from ischemic heart disease and tend to live longer than others.
"If living in a lower oxygen environment such as in our Colorado mountains helps reduce the risk of dying from heart disease it could help us develop new clinical treatments for those conditions," said Benjamin Honigman, MD, professor of Emergency Medicine at the CU School of Medicine and director of the Altitude Medicine Clinic. "Lower oxygen levels turn on certain genes and we think those genes may change the way heart muscles function. They may also produce new blood vessels that create new highways for blood flow into the heart."
Another explanation, he said, could be that increased solar radiation at altitude helps the body better synthesize vitamin D which has also been shown to have beneficial effects on the heart and some kinds of cancer.
The study was recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
At the same time, the research showed that altitudes above 4,900 feet were detrimental to those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
"Even modestly lower oxygen levels in people with already impaired breathing and gas exchange may exacerbate hypoxia and pulmonary hypertension [leading to death]," the study said.
Honigman, senior author of the study, along with researchers that included Robert Roach, PhD, director of the School of Medicine's Altitude Research Center, Deborah Thomas, PhD, a geographer at the University of Colorado Denver and Majid Ezzati of the Harvard School of Global Health, spent four years analyzing death certificates from every county in the U.S. They examined cause-of-death, socio-economic factors and other issues in their research.
They found that of the top 20 counties with the highest life expectancy, eleven for men and five for women were located in Colorado and Utah. And each county was at a mean elevation of 5,967 feet above sea level. The men lived between 75.8 and 78.2 years, while women ranged from 80.5 to 82.5 years.
Compared to those living near sea-level, the men lived 1.2 to 3.6 years longer and women 0.5 to 2.5 years more.
Despite these numbers, the study showed that when socio-economic factors, solar radiation, smoking and pulmonary disease were taken into account, the net effect of altitude on overall life expectancy was negligible.
Still, Honigman said, altitude seems to offer protection against heart disease deaths and may also play a role in cancer development.
Colorado, the highest state in the nation, is also the leanest state, the fittest state, has the fewest deaths from heart disease and a lower incidence of colon and lung cancer compared to others.
"We want to now look at these diseases in a more focused way so we can see the mechanisms behind hypoxia and why they affect the body the way they do," Honigman said. "This is a public health issue in Colorado and the mountain West. We have more than 700,000 people living at over 7,000 feet above sea level. Does living at altitude change the way a disease progresses? Does it have health effects that we should be investigating? Ultimately, we hope this research will help people lead healthier lives."
Dr Kent Lauson
Aurora Orthodontics & TMJ
Posted by at 15:28
Wednesday, May 11. 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. —
Little T.J. was a monster. There's no other way to say it.
Extremely hyperactive, the toddler ran around in circles, destroying everything in his path. He choked the cat and dragged it by its tail. He bit the teacher and hit other kids. He got kicked out of day care and banned from friends' homes.
His own grandmother called the 2-year-old a "monster." Friends told his family that T.J. — short for Terence Johnson — was destined to be "the next serial killer."
"He was so out of control, I was at my wits' end," said his mother, Heather Norton. "It is hurtful to realize nobody likes your child. Even my family didn't want him to come to events or reunions. Everyone kept telling me he's got to get help."
That was then. Today, as T.J. gets ready to turn 3, he is a changed boy. Lively, to be sure, but affectionate instead of mean and aggressive. "It's a total turnaround - this is a different child," his mother said. "He's a normal, active toddler now. He responds to punishment for the first time. He gives us hugs. He says, 'I love you.' He's learning to share. Everybody notices the difference." A frontal lobotomy? Electroshock therapy? Powerful drugs? No.
T.J. had his tonsils out.
As medical studies are beginning to confirm, the removal of a child's tonsils can, in some cases, significantly improve, even cure, severe hyperactivity often diagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
Now affecting more than 2 million U.S. children, ADHD most often is treated with controversial psychoactive drugs, sometimes taken for a lifetime.
But in a significant number of these children as many as half of those with an ADHD diagnosis, in one study simply removing the tonsils also has removed the diagnosis, by restoring normal behavior.
"Sometimes you get really great results, sometimes you see partial results in these children," said Dr. Damian Parkinson, a psychiatrist who has been working with T.J. at Pantano Behavioral Services. Parkinson was the first to suggest T.J.'s terrible behavior might be related to his tonsils.
The key to making that connection is how the child sleeps. Snoring, restlessness, apnea, and gasping for breath during the night are clearly linked to hyperactive daytime behavior in very young children. And enlarged or infected tonsils and adenoids — immune-related tissue masses in the back and upper throat — most often are the cause of what's known as "sleep-disordered breathing."
"What I look for is the child who comes in with typical ADHD symptoms — he's hyper, not listening, acting impulsively, hitting other kids — but who also has trouble sleeping," Parkinson said. "If the parents notice, and the child is congested and breathing through the mouth, that makes me wonder if the tonsils are the source of the whole problem."
That's pretty much the story of T.J.'s young life. "He never slept through the night, since he was a baby," his mother said. Always, T.J. snored so loudly his older brother had to move out of his room and had a chronically runny nose. But never in her wildest dreams did his mother think any of this was linked to T.J.'s behavior.
Unlike older children and adults, this lack of restful sleep and resulting oxygen deprivation does not produce daytime sleepiness and fatigue in very young kids. It tends to make them hyper. "Chronic loss of sleep can drive kids crazy, and the less sleep they get, the more crazy they get," said Dr. Brice Kopas, T.J.'s pediatrician. "T.J. was impossible. He just could not sit still, for even a second or two." But what has been less clear, until recently, is the direct effect of tonsil and adenoid removal on easing, even eliminating, full-fledged ADHD, in children who have sleep problems.
In one recent study, at the University of Michigan, 22 children with ADHD and sleep-disordered breathing had adenotonsillectomies. After one year, 11 no longer battled ADHD. "These improvements are remarkable because hyperactivity and inattention generally are expected to be chronic features in affected school-age children," the researchers wrote in a report published last year in the journal Pediatrics.
As a result of this and other recent studies, "doctors conducting healthy-child checkups should always ask about snoring, poor sleep, behavioral and learning problems, and look for physical signs such as enlarged tonsils and adenoids," reads a summary of the issue published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June. And if all those signs converge, surgery is really the only option, said Dr. Sanford Newmark, a Tucson pediatrician who practices integrative medicine, using both mainstream and alternative therapies.
"There really is no other way to deal with it. The tonsils and adenoids are what obstruct the upper airway when a child lies down to sleep, so you have to get them out if that is happening."
Missing this in young children can mean profound, even life-threatening effects — including heart and lung damage, and permanent cognitive deficits — if disrupted sleep persists for five years or longer.
"That's what clinched it for us. As soon as we heard that, we knew we wanted the surgery for T.J.," Norton said.
And so, the "little tyrant," as he was sometimes known, had his tonsils and adenoids out in April at University Medical Center. His surgeon, Dr. David Parry — Tucson's only pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist — had found them "grossly enlarged." Tonsils and adenoids swell when they mount an immune response to fight germs. "Once that is done, they should go back to normal size, but in some kids they don't," Parry said. "That may be the result of a chronic low-grade infection that goes undetected."
The positive effects showed up almost immediately, his mother said. "Right away, he started sleeping through the night, for the first time in his life. No snoring, no gurgling, no sleeping all over the bed," she said. "When his behavior changed, we just didn't believe it at first. We thought it had to be the pain medicine. But it's four months later now. "He's a normal child."
Dr. Kent Lauson
Aurora Orthodontics & TMJ
Posted by at 13:52
Tuesday, May 10. 2011
Does your child with ADHD toss and turn all night long? The reason might be a sleep disorder. In a recent study, researchers said that about half the parents in the study said their child with ADHD had difficulty sleeping. Parents reported that their child felt tired on awakening, had nightmares, or had other sleep problems such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome. Another study involving children with ADHD found the children had less refreshing sleep, difficulty getting up, and significantly more daytime sleepiness.
Sleep problems and ADHD seem to go hand-in-hand. Let's find out why.
Is snoring related to ADHD?
Large tonsils and adenoids can partially block the airway at night. This can cause snoring, poor sleep quality, and perhaps ADHD.
Because snoring can result in poor sleep, it may lead to attention problems the next day. A study involving 5- to 7-year-olds found that snoring is significantly more common among children with mild ADHD than it is in the general population. In another study, children who snored were almost twice as likely as their peers to have ADHD.
Children who snore perform significantly worse on tests of attention, language abilities, and overall intelligence.Some studies have shown that taking out the tonsils and adenoids may result in better sleep and improved behavior without the need for medications.
What is sleep apnea?
In simplest terms, apnea literally means without breathing. The word is used to describe an interruption of airflow of at least ten seconds. While there are three different kinds of apneas, the most common type is obstructive. Obstructive apnea makes up 65 percent of all apneas.
During obstructive sleep apnea, there is no airflow from the nose and mouth to the lungs. This is because the entrance to the trachea is completely blocked. The cause of the blockage is different structures in the pharynx that have collapsed. During this closure the respiratory muscles continue to make efforts to get air into the lungs.
People with sleep apnea have episodes of breathing cessation. They are aroused then from deep sleep to lighter stages of sleep. But they have these arousals while remaining completely unaware of the apneas or awakenings. These episodes can happen frequently throughout the night.
About 2% of kids in the U.S. have some form of obstructed breathing during sleep. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are the most common causes of sleep apnea in children. But obesity and chronic allergies can also be a cause. As with adults, children with sleep apnea will be tired during the day. They may have problems concentrating and might have other symptoms related to lack of sleep. For instance, they may display irritability.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed and treated?
Sleep apnea in children is treatable. Yet only your pediatrician or an ear, nose, and throat specialist can determine whether your child's tonsils are enlarged enough to possibly block the airway and cause sleep apnea. Confirmation of sleep apnea should be determined by a polysomnogram. A polysomnogram is a sleep study that's done in a special laboratory. Not every child with enlarged tonsils or with loud snoring has sleep apnea.
Surgery is the treatment of choice for kids with enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Other treatments are available for those with restricted nighttime breathing due to allergies or other causes.
Is restless legs syndrome related to ADHD?
Studies show some correlation between sleep disruption and ADHD and restless legs syndrome (RLS) and ADHD. With restless legs syndrome, there is a creeping, crawling sensation in the legs and sometimes in the arms. This sensation creates an irresistible urge to move. Restless legs syndrome causes sleep disruption and daytime sleepiness.
People with restless legs syndrome and subsequent sleep disruption tell of feeling inattentive, moody, and/or hyperactive -- all symptoms of ADHD. Because of this and other findings, some researchers believe that people with restless legs syndrome and a subset of people with ADHD may have a common dysfunction in the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Restless legs syndrome is diagnosed with a polysomnogram or sleep study. Medications can help both restless legs syndrome and ADHD.
How can I help my child with ADHD get the sleep he needs?
It's important to establish a bedtime ritual for children with ADHD. A regular bedtime regimen will help your child relax and get the healthful sleep that's needed. Try these tips:
· Meet with your doctor and discuss ADHD medications. Ask your doctor if you can give the morning dose of ADHD medication earlier in the day. Or talk to your doctor about shorter-acting medications. Find the right ADHD medication that lets your child relax at night and get healthy sleep.
· Be a "no caffeine" family.Watch for hidden caffeine in your child's diet. Caffeine is one of the few food products that mimic the stress response. When it does, it increases nervousness and causes sleepless nights. Keep caffeinated beverages and foods out of your kitchen.
· Be consistent. Have a consistent, daily routine with specific bedtimes, waking times, meals, and family times.
· Make sure the child's room is sound attenuated.If your child is bothered by noises while sleeping, try a "white noise" machine. Use one that produces a humming sound or turn the radio to a station that has gone off air. Get ear plugs for kids who are extra sensitive to noise.
· Avoid sleep medications. If medications are absolutely necessary, talk to your child's doctor about safe and effective treatments.
· Consider medical problems. Allergies, asthma, or conditions that cause pain can disrupt sleep. If your child snores loudly and/or pauses in breathing, medical evaluation is necessary. Consult your doctor for help with the possible medical causes of sleep problems.
· See that your child gets plenty of exercise. Make sure your child gets daily exercise. But avoid exercising right before bedtime. Studies show that regular exercise helps people sleep more soundly.
· Give your child a hot bath well before bedtime. Sleep usually follows the cooling phase of the body's temperature cycle. After your child takes a bath, keep the temperature in your child's bedroom cool to see if you can influence this phase.
Posted by at 15:39
Friday, May 06. 2011
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