Sleep apnea in children causes disruptive sleep that can lead to learning and behavioral problems if left untreated. Orthodontic treatment can be used effectively to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Early diagnosis and treatment can also prevent problems that are much harder to treat in adulthood.
Following a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, the use of a rapid maxillary expander (RME) can increase the width of a child’s maxilla (upper jaw). Expansion of the maxilla increases the space in the nasal airway and helps reduce the mouth breathing that can cause sleep apnea.