Seven percent of children in orthodontic care at 'high risk' for sleep disorders, according to new research

August 21, 2018 by Colin Mcewen, Case Western Reserve University
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A child who is restless, hyperactive and can't concentrate could have a problem rooted in a source parents might not suspect: a sleep disorder.

That's according to a new study by Case Western Reserve researchers at the School of Dental Medicine, who found that about 7 percent of between ages 9 and 17 in orthodontic care were at high risk for sleep-disordered breathing.

It's higher than the researchers expected, said J. Martin Palomo, a professor in the Department of Orthodontics at the dental school and senior author of the study recently published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.

The study notes that sleep-disordered breathing in children may be under-recognized and under-reported.

But Palomo said orthodontists are well-positioned to help change that because they see children whose facial development or jaw alignment was impacted by . And when they see a potential problem, they can make a referral to a sleep specialist.

"Sleep is a tightly regulated and well-organized biologic process affecting daily functioning and as well as physical and mental health," he said. "Sleep, or a lack of sleep, affects adults and children different."

Sleep-disordered breathing describes several conditions—including apneas—characterized by abnormal breathing patterns.

When adults get tired, they typically show signs of sleepiness: yawning, heavy eyelids and sitting down to rest. In contrast, children tend to get hyperactive. They also might snore, breathe through the mouth during the day, awake with dry mouth or become easily distracted.

In the study, 303 children or their parents completed a questionnaire about sleep and symptoms. About 7 percent responded with enough "yes" answers to put them at high risk for .

The results, according to the study, suggest the same portion of adolescents in orthodontic care in the general population could similarly be at risk.

Palomo hopes the study will help educate both the public and orthodontists. He also believes, based on published reports, that many children with are misdiagnosed with disorder (ADHD)—given that the symptoms of both are strikingly similar.

"I think it's important to rule out sleep before a patient is medicated for ADHD," he said.

Explore further: One in ten six to eight year olds has sleep-disordered breathing

More information: Ashok K. Rohra et al. Sleep disordered breathing in children seeking orthodontic care, American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2017.11.027

Related Stories

One in ten six to eight year olds has sleep-disordered breathing

December 14, 2012
Approximately ten per cent of 6 year olds have sleep-disordered breathing, according to a recent Finnish study. The risk is increased among children with enlarged tonsils, crossbite and convex facial profile. Unlike in adults, ...

Treating sleep-disordered breathing may have cardiovascular benefits for heart failure patients

February 21, 2018
Severe sleep-disordered breathing is linked with stiffening of the arteries' walls and may be related to the development of heart failure, according to a recent study in ESC Heart Failure, a journal of the European Society ...

Preterm children have more medical sleep problems but fall asleep more independently

September 21, 2017
A new study suggests that while healthy preterm children have more medical sleep problems than full-term children, they are more likely to fall asleep independently.

Research reveals high prevalence of sleep disordered breathing in adults with sickle cell

March 25, 2015
A new study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine revealed that 44 percent of adults with sickle cell disease who report trouble sleeping actually have a clinical diagnosis of sleep disordered breathing, including sleep ...

Sleep and Alzheimer's disease connection

October 17, 2017
How often do you get a good night's sleep? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommend adults get an average of at least seven hours of sleep a night. Dr. Ronald Petersen, a Mayo Clinic neurologist, says ...

Polysomnography for sleep-disordered breathing prior to tonsillectomy in children

June 15, 2011
A multidisciplinary clinical practice guideline, "Polysomnography for Sleep-Disordered Breathing Prior to Tonsillectomy in Children" will be published as a supplement to the July issue of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck ...

Recommended for you

Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold

September 18, 2018
A comprehensive survey of ingredients in yogurts highlights high sugar levels in many—particularly organic yogurts and those marketed towards children.

Research confronts 'yucky' attitudes about genetically engineered foods

September 18, 2018
Is a non-browning apple less "natural" than non-fat milk? In one case, people have injected something into apple DNA to prevent it from turning brown after it's cut. In the other, people used technology to remove something ...

Your teen is underestimating the health risks of vaping

September 17, 2018
Teens today are more reluctant to smoke cigarettes than their counterparts nearly three decades ago, according to a study released this summer. But parents should hold their collective sigh of relief. The study, carried out ...

Thinking beyond yourself can make you more open to healthy lifestyle choices

September 17, 2018
Public health messages often tell people things they don't want to hear: Smokers should stop smoking. Sedentary people need to get moving. Trade your pizza and hot dogs for a salad with lean protein.

Shifting focus from life extension to 'healthspan' extension

September 17, 2018
Clinicians, scientists and public health professionals should proudly "declare victory" in their efforts to extend the human lifespan to its very limits, according to University of Illinois at Chicago epidemiologist S. Jay ...

Survey finds 2M US teens are vaping marijuana

September 17, 2018
A school-based survey shows nearly 1 in 11 U.S. students have used marijuana in electronic cigarettes, heightening health concerns about the new popularity of vaping among teens.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.