Sleep Apnea in Children – What Does It Look Like?

Understanding and recognizing the hallmark signs and symptoms of sleep breathing disorders are of utmost importance if we are going to try to begin to understand the problems that might arise if these go unnoticed.

Mouth breathing or an open mouth can change the shape and appearance of a child's face, and can also lead to a number of health concerns.

-problems with breathing muscles

-underdeveloped upper and lower jaws

-narrow upper jaw (narrow maxilla)

-dark circles under the eyes

-lip or tongue tied

-long narrow facial features

-narrow nose

-convex profile

-mouth breathing and tongue out and forward during breathing

-enlarged tonsils and adenoids

-snoring or heavy breathing at night

-over-eruption of back teeth so front teeth do not touch

-difficulty falling asleep and maintaining sleep

-relatively short stature (height)

There are also behavioral signs of sleep deprived children. These include:

-difficulty sitting still

-difficulty with concentration, focus and attention




-talking out of turn



-trouble with literacy

If this sounds a lot like ADHD, it’s because about 25% of those who are diagnosed with ADHD actually have sleep breathing disorders and therefore it is critical to make the proper diagnosis before simply giving your child drugs to treat the behavioral problems or symptoms.

Every child diagnosed with ADHD should be screened for sleep disorders!

Further topics will include tongue tied newborns, palatal development, palatal expansion, tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, ADHD and each of these relationships with airway development.

Call Dr. Scott Danoff, a board certified sleep apnea dentist if you have any questions on this important health issue.

Call 844-44-SNORE or go to .