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Is Snoring Causing Your Child’s Behavioral Problems?

Is Snoring Causing Your Child’s Behavioral Problems?

Author: Donald Tanenbaum DDS MPH - Board-Certified Orofacial Pain Specialist at New York TMJ & Orofacial Pain

Date: March 19, 2012

In very young children and even in infants, sleep-inhibiting breathing such as sleep apnea, mouth breathing, and even snoring may affect more than just a healthy night’s sleep.

According to a recent New York Times article, a study conducted by Karen Bonuck, PhD., at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University found that sleep-inhibiting breathing starting in infancy and early development is causing more than just problems with sleeping and staying awake during the day. This longitudinal study tested 11,000 children (controlling for future behavioral problems caused by events such as maternal smoking and prematurity) found a definitive link between children with sleeping problems during early development and later behavioral problems.

Sleep-inhibiting breathing leads to a poor night’s rest for your child potentially providing their brain with too little oxygen or too much carbon dioxide. This could seriously affect the prefrontal cortex area of the brain which is directly linked to behavioral decision-making.

Parents need to pay attention to their child’s breathing at night, even as early as infancy. A good night’s sleep restores what a developing brain has lost during the day.

If you feel your child is having a problem with snoring, sleep apnea, or mouth breathing, do not hesitate to contact me. Learn more about Dr. Tanenbaum here.

DISCLAIMER: The advice offered in response to your questions is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. Namely, we in no way offer a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendation for your particular situation. Our intent is solely educational and our responses to your actual questions serve as a springboard to discussion of a variety of dental topics that come up in a day-to-day dental practice. Any advice offered is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified professional.

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