AB: Hello and welcome to SimplifiHealth. My name is Aurelia Byrne and I’m a registered Dental Hygienist at StoneBriar Smile Design. Today I have Dr. Jill Wade here and we’re going to discuss why children should never snore.
JW: Hello, Aurelia. How are you doing?
AB: I am amazing today. How are you?
JW: Good, you get a good night sleep?
AB: I did. Thank goodness.
JW: Doesn’t it make a difference when you sleep well?
AB: Huge difference. You know how small my nostrils are.
JW: Right on. Hey, listen. We are talking about this very important subject matter today because our kids are in an epidemic. That is really all related to how well they sleep. When they can’t sleep well, there are so many different parts of their health that are declined. For example, today we’re going to be talking that they shouldn’t be snoring at all. That could be a great indicator that they’re not getting enough sleep. But I want to just touch on this for a second, why is that important? You go for a couple of days without sleep, really deep sleep, and tell me how you feel?
JW: Horrible, you can’t concentrate. You kind of have foggy-headed thinking.
JW: Why is this any different for kids?
AB: It isn’t, it isn’t.
JW: Exactly. We have this supposedly couple of epidemics that everybody is talking about lately, epidemic of kids with ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder—maybe they do, maybe they don’t, maybe they have an airway obstruction and they’re just not getting deep enough sleep. Think about that for a second, if you have your kids on ADD medicine and it’s not working, maybe there’s a reason why. They really don’t have a good effect from the medicine because that’s not the root cause of the problem.
AB: Their brains are not getting oxygen.
JW: That will do.
AB: Airway obstruction, it’s amazing.
AB: It can change anyone’s life.
JW: Absolutely. But this is the same concept for adults as well. If you’re not getting good deep room sleep, that’s also a part of the obesity epidemic that’s going on. When you are not sleeping and you are not healing in that deeper sleep, your body doesn’t know what to do, it holds onto everything. If you’re trying to diet or be better but you’re not getting good deep sleep, you’re going to hold on to everything, you’re going to be heavier. I think the research shows people almost get 10 pounds heavier just from not getting good deep sleep. Same thing for kids, they’re just little adults.
AB: One of the things that I see when I’m treating children is I always look at their facial structure and I look at their eyes because there are so many times where I see a little young person with very dark circles under their eyes and I think, “Wow, they have dark circles, this is not good.” It leads me to prompt to some questions about snoring, their facial structures, and their habits in general.
JW: Exactly, the eyes do not lie. I agree with you, Aurelia. That is one of the first places that you don’t have to be a dental or a medical professional to look at this, just look at your child, at their face, and at their eyes. If they wake up most mornings with, like you said, circles under their eyes—anywhere from blue, to purple, to dark, to green, any kind of discoloration right up underneath there—yes, they didn’t sleep well. You need to get up in the middle of the night a couple of times—this is my suggestion—and go into their room and just listen. It’s all you got to do, listen to them. Are they snoring or making any kind of noise? Because children should not snore ever.
AB: Dr. Wade, would you let the audience know why do you get the dark circles under the eyes as a child?
JW: Typically, the thought process is that there is truly an airway obstruction that is causing this lack of ability to be able to get enough air in to get you oxygenated enough, to get into this deeper room sleep at night. They’re struggling actually breathing which is taking up too much capacity for the brain and then not allowing some chemical and scientific things to occur to let them get into deeper sleep.
But the thought process of why is the discoloration and things happening, most of the time, is coming from, just think of it like you are running a marathon and you’re working out the muscles and the area really hard. Just like you’re running the marathon, it’s the same thing. Let’s say, the airway obstruction is actually in the nasal cavity itself, a lot of times, we’ll see deviated septum's, too large of adenoids, or tonsils, and this will create an over workout—if you want to say—of that upper area of the nose which then brings a lot of movement into the area. You’re trying to breathe hard in, the nose is kind of moving as you’re trying to breathe, and that brings up the blood and the blood vessels to actually make this action occur. Basically that’s so superficial that you’ll then see some type of discoloration either underneath the eye itself. But every once in a while, even in the middle of their nose or just right above the bridge of their nose. Any kind of discoloration in that zone, to me—from red, to blue, to purple, to green—would indicate that I would want to check out their airway space, get them to the ENT specialist, and have somebody look at what’s going on.
AB: Yeah. What is another thing that we can let our audience know about airway obstruction and not getting enough sleep? What’s another symptom of lack of sleep?
JW: We touched based on it a few minutes ago. One is a sense of—if you want to say—a hyper activity during the day time, an ADD type of attention deficit issue with the child. The more rest they did have that night or night before, the more mellow, if you are going to say, that would be during the day and the less sleep that they did achieve that night, the more hyperactive they would be. Be realistic and evaluate your child appropriately and be sure that that’s not an issue. It’s such an easy thing to look at that. Why not get them evaluated for that root cause of a problem?
AB: What about bed wetting?
JW: This is a very unknown fact. This is an untalked-about symptom honestly. Both parents of children who are wetting the bed too late in life, if you want to say, they don’t talk to very many people about it. The children certainly don’t talk to anybody about it and it can be really devastating for the whole family. Children don’t want to go spend the night with friends, they don’t want to have friends over, it’s embarrassing.
A lot of people just don’t understand that this can be very much connected to not going into that deep-enough sleep at night. Airway obstruction could be the main cause although the symptom that’s most obvious is from a bed wetting standpoint which you would think, “Oh, I need to go to a urologist,” “I need to go to a neurologist.” This is just not exactly maybe the first line of defense that you should take. Perhaps, you need to look at the airway space first. Definitely, a lot of people do not understand the connection to this. It’s not so much, it’s more that when they are not fully asleep and they are coming out of this sleep pattern in kind of a net-foggy zone, they aren’t fully awake and they’re not fully asleep and then that is affecting their urge or need to go the restroom. They don’t wake up fully to get to the bathroom in time.
AB: Yeah. All of these things that we’re discussing is for our audience so that they can be aware of an airway obstruction issue in their own child, other family members, and friends. These are very, very important things that you should know. Just take your child to the dentist and just be aware of these dark circles, of bed wetting, of your child snoring when they really shouldn’t be.
There’s a difference between snoring and then grinding of the teeth because that’s normal for children to do. Just so you know out there in the audience, when parents come to us and like, “My child grinds their teeth.”
JW: It is normal. But sometimes that can be actually a sign of the airway obstruction as well.
AB: That is true, because they’re trying to bring their jaw forward so that they can get air.
AB: Lots of different types of symptoms that go with airway obstruction—we’re going to have a whole other podcast and have an ENT specialist here and some orthodontist to talk about this so that your child, if they have an airway obstruction, can get help.
JW: Absolutely. I also highly encourage anybody who has a friend or family member who is dealing with this situation to share the podcast with them to get them following along so that they can hear this future podcast with—like Aurelia said—our specialist and the medical side of things. Actually, these are easy solutions to some of these problems, it’s just first being aware of what this potential root cause could be.
I want you to learn more about this, I want you to be not only your own advocate but your child’s advocate as well. I want you to visit youniversityhealth.com and there you can find more information to download about the details of airway obstruction and why children should never snore.
AB: For dental professionals, if you like to learn more about what we see in the mouth and the questions that we ask our patients so that we can get them to the right ENT specialist or orthodontist, you can get more information at relevancehealth.com. Thank you for joining us, Dr. Wade. It’s been a pleasure.
JW: Thank you, Aurelia. Hopefully, together with this new information, parents can help their kids.
Listen up if you want to hear past all of the healthcare noise. The SymplifiHealth episode CHILDREN SHOULD NEVER SNORE uncovers rarely heard advice about children’s sleeping habits and what likely underlying problem is hiding. In this podcast Dr. Jill Wade and co-host Aurelia Byrne will be discussing the important issue of sleep, snoring, and airway obstruction. Parents listen up! Most do not know about the lack of sleep and the link sleep disorders have in mimicking attention deficit disorder (ADD or ADHD).