The number of diagnosed children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) has increased by about 25% in the past decade and recent studies show a link between pediatric sleep disorders and the onset of ADHD. ADHD is an attention deficit hyperactivity that is outside of the normal range about affects about 2% of children, says Dr. Roger Briggs, with Briggs Family Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona.
ADHD can be genetic, nutrition can play a role, environment can play a role, such as mercury or lead poisoning and sleep and breath factor in, says Dr. Briggs. "Everyone knows that when a child doesn't sleep well, it affects behavior," he adds.
Dr. Briggs says that when asleep, our brains get the opportunity to reboot and when not breathing, it impacts our hormonal system. He can look at a 7 or 8-year-old and see how much grinding they're doing on their mature molars and see large tonsils, as that can affect the airway. As a dentist, he can tell if the jaws aren't developing properly and if the blueprint doesn't match the size of the tongue they're given, that can push the tongue back into the airway and cause a problem.
Snoring is the most common symptom of pediatric sleep disorders. "25-30% of all ADHD in children can be eliminated with the treatment of the airway," says Dr. Briggs.
Dr. Roger Briggs is with Briggs Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Briggs is a leading dental expert with Dentist News Network, providing online, on-demand dental news video content across many dental specialties.