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Sleeping Issues, ADHD, and Why Your Dentist Cares

added on: February 11, 2021
father and daughter being silly in kitchen

Are you a parent struggling with a child who’s been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD)? Then you might already know that you’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in a 2016 study that 6.1 million (9.4 percent) kiddos in America between 2 and 17 are estimated to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD. The study also found that a diagnosis is more common in boys compared to girls.

But what does all of this mean to Dr. Ashley Lee of My Rivertown Dentist?

The issue is this: Studies have also shown that many children diagnosed with ADHD or behavioral problems, don’t have it at all. So that means there are potentially thousands, if not millions, of kids misdiagnosed and possibly put on medication that could be doing more harm than good.

What concerns Dr. Lee is that the issues or symptoms that look like ADHD could be caused by a sleep-related breathing disorder or (SRBD) or more commonly known as sleep apnea.

As a mother, Dr. Lee has struggled with her own kiddo’s sleep apnea issues, including multiple doctors’ visits. As a dentist, she realized she has the power to help break this cycle of misunderstanding or even misdiagnosing so that more kids can:

– Breath easier

– Sleep better

– Live happier

Think About it. It All Makes Sense.

Back in 2012, the journal Pediatrics followed more than 11,000 kids over six years, beginning at six months old. As it turned out, the kids an SRBD we actually 40 to 100 percent more likely to develop behavioral problems with symptoms similar to ADHD, including:

  • Short attention span, especially for non-preferred tasks
  • Hyperactivity, which may be physical, verbal, and/or emotional
  • Impulsivity, which may manifest as recklessness
  • Fidgeting or restlessness
  • Disorganization and difficulty prioritizing tasks
  • Poor time management and time blindness
  • Frequent mood swings and emotional dysregulation
  • Forgetfulness and poor working memory
  • Trouble multitasking and distractibility
  • Inability to control anger or frustration
  • Trouble completing tasks and frequent procrastination

Do any of these sound familiar to you as a parent? If so, it might be time to consider that poor sleep and an obstructed airway could be to blame. It only makes sense when you see someone who’s well-rested (no matter what age) isn’t sluggish or tired; they have more energy and positivity. Or look at it like this: When you’re tired and facing another day at work, it’s easy to feel drowsy, irritable, and even depressed. In these same circumstances, kiddos often become overly excited, hyper, prone to temper tantrums, and can’t focus correctly — just like the symptoms we just went over.

How We Can Help

Under the expert guidance of Dr. Lee and her partnership with Vivos Therapeutics, you’ll get the comprehensive examination and consultation designed to detect any issues with a child’s airway, such as airway development, swallowing patterns, and breathing that could be linked to SRDB or sleep apnea. Based on this and expert research and findings from The Institute for Craniofacial Medicine, we can see beyond routine smile care for your child and possibly change their lives for the better using special oral appliances created by Vivos designed to help guide jaw development. This movement ultimately creates a wider airway, and can keep your kiddo sleep apnea free for — LIFE!

We know you have more questions. Don’t hesitate to call Dr. Ashley Lee at My Rivertown Dentist in Madison to learn more and schedule a consultation!