Should I be concerned if I notice that my child snores?

Although snoring in children can be cute sometimes, snoring can also indicate underlying airway obstruction and the earlier it is picked up the better it is for the child. For young children, enlarged tonsils and adenoids can cause obstruction in their airway and snoring can be one of the main indicators of airway obstruction during sleep.

snoring in children

Here are some possible causes of snoring:

  • Respiratory infection - Stuffy nose from cold or allergies can cause snoring. This is due to the mucous casing blockage of the sinuses resulting in the child breathing through his/her mouth. Once the allergy or cold is resolved snoring usually improves.
  • Enlarged tonsils and adenoids – The enlarged tonsils and adenoids block the airway making it hard to breathe through the nose, increasing the risk of obstructive sleep apnoea.
  • Deviated septum - A deviated septum is a condition when the two nostrils of the nose are offset or displaced, making it hard to breathe comfortably through the nose
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnoea or OSA - Airflow through the upper respiratory system becomes obstructed, making breathing very difficult. This condition can result in health and developmental problems for the child.

Not breathing properly can increase the risk of health and developmental complications for children. Those with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea are at increased risk of health issues such as high blood pressure, depression, stroke, obesity and insulin resistance later in life.

Signs and symptoms of sleep apnoea to look for in children:

  • Snoring at night
  • Restless sleeping
  • Sleeping in unusual positions such as extended neck or sitting up
  • Pauses in breathing e.g gasping/chocking/snorting during sleep
  • Excessive sweatiness at night
  • Waking up at night to go to the bathroom for urination/ bed wetting frequently
  • Sleep walking at night and/or night terrors often
  • Staying awake at night until late (hyperactivity)
  • Feeling of tiredness when waking up or headaches
  • Fussy eating e.g. avoids chucky food
  • Learning, behavioural, or social issues
  • Speaks nasally and breath primarily through their mouth

If you notice that your child snores and you have noticed some of the points mentioned above, then let the Dentist / Hygienist/ Therapist know when you bring your child in for routine dental hygiene/check-up.  Call us on (02) 9922 1476 book an appointment at with our friendly Dental Hygienists at North Sydney Dental Practice or leave an inquiry today!