Dr. Betancur notes that a tremendous amount of literature exists linking ADD/ADHD and sleep apnea. "Normally, children who have ADD or ADHD are terrible sleepers, constantly moving and changing to another position. The old school of thinking was that they were just hyperactive, but the brain shouldn't be hyperactive when we are asleep."
The reality, he says, is that these children are not getting enough air, so they wake enough to move to another position that will allow them to breathe.
"When kids don't sleep normally, they react differently to being tired than adults do," says Dr. Betancur. "In school, these kids are dead tired, and their brains keep focusing on different things just to try to keep them awake. ADD or ADHD can be diagnosed by mistake in children with obstructive sleep apnea."
The solution for these children is relatively simple, adds Dr. Betancur. "Most are very easily treated by having tonsils and adenoids removed, and then going to the orthodontist to have the palate expanded using a special appliance."
Dr. Betancur notes that he has an orthodontist in his office, which allows him to treat affected children starting at age two and, in a matter of four to six weeks, help them breathe better and sleep normally.
Regardless of the age of the patient, there is an appliance for every patient. Most appliances gently hold your jaw in a more forward position, allowing the airway to remain open for proper breathing while sleeping. Dr. Betancur placed his first oral appliance in August 1998 and have helped many patients to enjoy a much healthier life ever since.
To find out more about sleep apnea and treatment, visit www.sleepsnoredentist.com
Understanding and treating sleep apnea leads to better rest, higher energy levels, and improved heart health. If you are concerned about the possibility of sleep disordered breathing for yourself or a loved one, Dr. Betancur and his staff would like to help. Patients are surprised to hear that Medicare and mist insurance companies cover the treatment. The practice accepts Medicare and most major insurance plans. The offices are located at 3401 N. Federal Hwy., Suite 101, in Boca Raton, telephone (561) 750-6790 and 18503 Pines Blvd., Suite 305, in Pembroke Pines, telephone (954) 392-1851.
Alvaro Betancur, DDS, has practiced dentistry in Florida since 1990. After receiving his dental degree, Dr. Betancur completed a residency in craniofacial pain and pathofunction at the University of Florida and a fellowship at the University of Florida Pain Center and the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. Dr. Betancur is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.