A very high percentage of the general population goes to the dentist at least once a year for check-ups, professional oral hygiene or to perform therapies. For this reason, dentists have the opportunity to intercept the signs and symptoms of OSAS early. But what are OSAS? This is clarified by the Ministry of Health which outlined the “NATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR DENTISTRY PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF OBSTRUCTIVE APNEE SYNDROME (OSAS)”. Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) is a respiratory sleep disorder characterized by repeated episodes of complete or partial obstruction of the upper airway with signs and symptoms that can cause the onset of important systemic dysfunctions due to of reducing the quality of life. . The dentist must have, in relation to this syndromic framework, an important role as a “diagnostic sentinel”, also providing, as far as his competence is concerned, for therapeutic resolution by applying specific intra oral medical devices.

Specifically for children and young people, the Ministry of Health has developed another document that aims to provide “evidence based” recommendations and indications for the odontological management of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in developmental age individuals. With regard to age, the evolutionary age is taken into consideration, including the age range of individuals from 0 to 14 years. The alarming fact is that the prevalence of respiratory sleep disorders affects school-age children in a percentage varying between 1 and 6%; this wide variability is due to the different evaluation methods. The prevalence of the snoring symptom “often” or “every night” (so called “habitual snorers”) varies from 3% to 21% of children.

The consequences of untreated pediatric OSAS are:

  • poor school performance
  • daytime sleepiness;
  • behavioral problems;
  • statural growth deficit;
  • nocturnal enuresis;
  • morning headache;
  • increased risk of otitis and cardiovascular disease.

Snoring in children, although often considered “benign”, in the absence of significant obstructive events and hypoxemia, can be associated with micro surveys, sleep fragmentation and can cause daytime symptoms such as irritability, attention deficit, hyperactivity and sleepiness.

It is desirable for dentists to make parents aware of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea that can appear during the developmental age, so that they can more easily intercept these diseases and contribute to their care, also stimulating the adoption of correct styles of life. It is therefore a real DAY & NIGHT protocol for the health of children and young people.

Ask your dentist of trust!

(if you need it, kind reader and dear reader, don’t hesitate to contact me directly)

Dr. Loris Bonamassa – Sleep Expert

if you want to know more go up www.lorisbonamassa.com