wellness orthodontics adhd child

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 11 percent of American children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with the ADHD. You may be surprised to learn that the actual problem plaguing your child might be related to the way he/she breathes while sleeping.

Medical research has found that children who suffer from some form of a sleep breathing disorder often manifest symptoms that mimic ADHD.

The study of approximately 11000 children found that children who snored at night or had interrupted sleep, were 40 to 100 percent more likely to have symptoms of ADHD.

"The parents of children who are mouth breathers and have been diagnosed with ADHD should get a second opinion from a dentist or orthodontist before accepting the ADHD label that means their children will take powerful drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall for the rest of their lives.”

The primary symptoms of ADHD are:
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention
  • Impulsivity
  • Distractibility
  • Difficulty waiting or taking turns
Sleep deprivation in children may result in:
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention
  • Impulsivity
  • Oppositional behavior
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning
There is a clear relationship between symptoms of ADHD and consequences of sleep deprivation.
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Some scientific studies on the relationship between childhood sleep deprivation and ADHD

In one study of 5- to 7-year-olds, snoring was more common among children with mild ADHD than in the other children. In another study, kids who snored were almost twice as likely as their peers to have ADHD. However, that doesn’t prove that snoring caused ADHD. Children who snore tend to score worse on tests of attention, language abilities, and overall intelligence. Source: WebMD

● In a study that we have recently performed, we found that children with ADHD had high prevalence of primary sleep disorders and objective daytime somnolence. This finding can explain why Ritalin, which is a stimulant medication, improves symptoms in these children. Sleep problems, primarily treatable such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) or Periodic Limb Movements Disorder in Sleep (PLMD), should be investigated in the assessment of these children.

● ● SDB and OSA are a public health problem, underlining the pivotal role of the pediatrician in preventing, diagnosing, and treating these frequent disorders.

● ● ● Behavioral problems are prevalent in children with either mild SDB or OSA, and both groups of children show significant improvements in behavior after treatment.

● ● ● ● A total of 153 manuscripts was identified. A delay in treatment of SDB children may be caused by several factors and may result in serious but generally reversible problems, including: (1) impaired growth; (2) neurocognitive and behavioral dysfunction; and (3) cardiorespiratory failure… With the devastating effects sleep disorders can have on children and their families, dentists must recognize obvious symptoms.

● ● ● ● ● The findings of this meta-analysis suggest that ADHD symptoms are related to SDB and improve after treatment. Therefore, patients with ADHD symptomatology should receive SDB screening. Treatment of comorbid SDB should be considered before medicating the ADHD symptoms if present.

Read More on the Relationship Between ADHD and Sleep Disorders

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