We have a very important responsibility in helping our children to grow into healthy and productive adults. Unfortunately sometimes the rulebook either has pages missing or is completely wrong! There are some basic common sense issues that need to come into play. One easy one would be that we really shouldn’t bleed! In fact, in the commonly read prenatal advice book, What to Expect when You’re Expecting, we are encourage to make light of the bleeding gums often seen in pregnancy. Studies have shown that with just bleeding gums, the risk of pre-term low birth weight babies is raised by as much as almost 30%! As these babies grow up they are challenged by a number of potential allergens and in some cases those cause inflammation and hypertrophy or swelling in the tonsils and adenoids.
The issue is as that tissue swells, it has only one direction that it can go, and that is into the airway. They now fill the airway and limit the ability to be properly oxygenated. In many cases the tonsils and adenoids are swollen enough that they create an altered tongue position. With the tongue in the wrong place, it cannot support normal growth and development of the dental arches and jaws. This creates narrow dental arches and mouths and the need for orthodontic intervention later, often resulting in a compromised final result at best. Left untreated, it may well create a lifetime of chronic pain and damage and perhaps even life threatening issues such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Treating these issues as soon as possible will set the stage for more ideal growth and development of the mouth. It also leads to better airway maintenance as kids and better rest. The kids who are properly rested do better in school and are able to pay attention more completely as well as perform better. As adults, not only do they enjoy a better start academically, they also are not burdened by chronic face or neck pain or headaches!
As early as the first day of the first course in neuromuscular dentistry at LVI, the issues that lead to malformed occlusion are addressed. Airway is one of the most essential things to manage properly in children and adults alike. It is more critical in children to properly address these issues as they affect the way they grow into adulthood, and the potential for pain or breathing disorders as a result of mismanaged childhood development can be eliminated!