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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Signs That Your Child's Tonsils May Be Causing Problems

As a dental hygienist part of my exam for patients is to check the back of the throat, of coarse I am evaluating soft tissue changes but I find quite often huge tonsils on small children.

Dentally we are concerned if the airway is limited because it can cause undesirable formation changes in the palate due to the way the tongue positions itself to allow for breathing. Long term this can result in extensive orthodontics.

More research is showing a correlation between children being misdiagnosed with ADHD when in fact the behavioral problems are the result of apnea issues (stopping breathing, typically when sleeping).
I am not making the claim that all ADHD cases are in fact related to tonsils- I am simply stating that this research is something to be aware of.

The following are questions to ask and signs to look for if you suspect your child has airway problems:

  Evaluate the size of the tonsils in relation to the size of the airway
  Evaluate the eyes- dark shiners under the eyes can often times be caused by tonsil problems

   Q:Does your child get frequent tonsil/sinus/ear infections, or have allergies?
  Q: Does your child snore?

  Q: Does your child breath through their mouth?

If your child has some or all of these signs frequently an evaluation by a ENT is recommended.

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