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It could be more than just a snore - Dr. Olsen

*(Fremont County, Wyo.) - *How often has this happened to you? It’s bedtime and you are just about to find that relaxing place to fall into dreamland when you’re startled by a rhythmic buzzing noise from down the hall. You stumble along, reaching to find both the light switch and the source of whatever it is that prevents you from your well-deserved slumber. Only after stepping on a Lego do you finally find what is at the heart of this nighttime excursion: your child is snoring. Again. *Sound familiar?* While snoring may interrupt your plan of a good night’s sleep, there actually may be something more significant happening for your child. Along with mouth breathing, snoring is often overlooked as an indicator of problems with his or her mouth. *A Sign of Breathing Problems* It’s easy to forget that the floor of the nasal cavity is the roof of the mouth. If the arch of the upper jaw is too narrow, the nasal cavity may be constricted, which can make breathing more difficult. Narrow arches also cause tooth crowding and limits the space for the tongue so that it is positioned toward the throat, also decreasing breathing area. Children will often compensate by breathing through the mouth instead of the nose. This behavior can cause a number of problems, including an increased number of ear infections, sinusitis and trouble sleeping. This in turn can contribute to inattentiveness and poor academic performance. Mouth breathing is also associated with reduced oxygen intake, meaning that even the most active children will tire more easily from exercise, potentially reducing their interest in it. *So What Can Be Done? * In many cases, orthodontic treatment can help. Through the use of a 3D x-ray, an orthodontist can better evaluate your child’s airway and make recommendations for treatment. Available today is the advanced treatment option of Damon System® -braces that work by widening the dental arches naturally for better air flow. There are additional appliances that bring the lower jaw forward which brings the tongue forward opening up the airway allowing for proper oxygenation. Your orthodontist may also make other recommendations, such as the use of night guards or other appliances, to make sleeping easier. Left untreated, this type of airway problem can affect facial growth and development, much of which occurs during childhood and the pre-teen years. The earlier the problem is identified, the more options there are to intervene to direct healthy growth. Once growth is complete in the teen or adult years, surgery and other more invasive treatments are often necessary to remedy breathing complications. Next time you hear that familiar buzzing snore from down the hall, make a mental note to call the orthodontist. A thorough evaluation can provide critical information about potential concerns and address your questions about the best options for your child. Investing in orthodontic care does more than give your child a beautiful smile—it can ensure that it’s a healthy one as well. *Dr. Marc Olsen and Olsen Ortho Studio has been combining art, science and experience to provide adults and children with extraordinary orthodontic care for over 16 years. Get to know him and learn how his expertise can work for you. For a complimentary consultation and 3D x-ray, contact them at 307-332-9136 .* #sponsored #county10 #news