Love & Orthodontics
Love & Orthodontics
Dr Chris Baker is Past President of the American Orthodontic Society, a pediatric dentist and faculty member of three dental schools. She practices in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Texas, USA. Dr Chris writes about orthodontics, pediatric dentistry and life.
Blog By:

 WOW!!!  We’re talkin’ about airway issues in children (at last).

WOW!!! We’re talkin’ about airway issues in children (at last).

12/6/2017 4:10:08 PM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 54
Airway issues - sleep apnea - OSAS - have hit the “mainstream” in dentistry, first concerning the adult patient, and now the child patient.  

I am  thrilled! 

Why?    Because there are so  many children we can help!  

For more than 25 years, as a teacher of orthodontics and pediatric dentist treating children orthodontically, I have been a voice in the wilderness - and in teaching -  about the airway issues in children and how they negatively impact cranio-facial growth and the child's entire well-being. 

So many signs and symptoms that conventional wisdom and literature have attributed to genetics - like growth pattern, allergies, and so on -  actually usually have a different etiology than we’ve been believing.  Instead of mom having the “same” Class II retrognathic mandible, indeed, mom has the “same” forward head posture”, related to her airway/breathing issues.

Instead of Edwin having Class III brachyfacial growth which he “inherited” from Dad who looks the “same,”  the child has a severe forward tongue position, with deep bite, forward mandibular positioning and Class III growth.

It is indeed the “same” as Dad - both Edwin and his dad spent early formative years with huge tonsils and inability to breathe nasally.  Breathing is primary.  We do what we must to breathe.   Unknowingly posturing his mandible forward, bringing the tongue with it, due to the hyoid muscle attachments, allows Edwin, and allowed his father, to breathe through his mouth, bypassing his nose, and get the oxygen needed to survive.  

So - Dad and Edwin grew similarly - Class III.  The genetic etiology for this father and son pair has to do with tonsillar enlargement - and in Edwin’s case - is CHANGEABLE because he is still growing.  Following removal of the tonsils and adenoids (adenoid tissue was enlarged as well), and expansion of his narrow palate, Edwin now breathes nasally. His Class III growth is diminishing (still habitual forward tongue.…).

As an early evangelist with this subject, having learned from Dr. Walter Doyle, I discovered that there was a huge volume of airway literature produced in the 1970’s, much of it led by Sten Linder-Aronson and Donald Woodside, Dudley Weider, Kenneth Nowak and colleagues, Donald Timms, and even Henri Petit.  

They knew and published about what we think we are so smart to be “figuring out” now
Having been teaching and practicing this knowledge all these 25+ years, I am - yes - THRILLED - to see our “modern” thinking catching up to this body of knowledge.

Five things your patient may exhibit 
which could indicate airway issues:

While we could spend hours on this topic - and I do in teaching - for now let’s just look at five things your patients might exhibit to let you know they have an airway problem or may have an airway problem.   Because - if your patient begins breathing nasally, their growth and development is changed - starting immediately.   So the five things?

1. Enuresis - Bedwetting;
2. ADHD, ADD, behavioral problems, manic-depressive disorder of childhood, aggressive behavior;
3. Lowered IQ and Learning disabilities;
4. Restless sleep and daytime fatigue;
5. Bruxism - tooth grinding.

These all reduce a child’s quality of life - experience of life - to a life with difficulties, struggles, and are very often changeable, thus unnecessary. 

And you can be the one to guide the life-transformation. 

"Normal healthy cells 
turn into malignant cells 
simply in the presence 
of lowered O2."     ~ Otto Warburg

Three things you can do to improve the child’s chance of nasal breathing and his/her life
You - the child’s orthodontist, dentist, pediatric dentist, can help - a LOT!!  

You can:
  1. Ask and discover the signs and symptoms.
  3. Refer to the ENT.
  5. Expand the arch to just short of buccal crossbite

Nasal and sinus mucosa release nitric oxide,
a potent bronchodilator and vasodilator, hypotensive and it is bacteriostatic and virostatic.

There is more - so much more we can discuss about this topic. 

Can you imagine, the lives    you can change?  

Can you imagine, how grateful the parents will be?  
Can you imagine reducing the risk of adult sleep apnea in your now child patients?
Can you imagine, how wonderful for you?  

Learn about the airway in children.  

Contact me and I will be glad to  help.

© 2017 Dr Chris Baker
More Like This

Total Blog Activity

Total Bloggers
Total Blog Posts
Total Podcasts
Total Videos


Townie Perks

Townie® Poll

Do you allow parents into the operatory?

Site Help

Sally Gross, Member Services
Phone: +1-480-445-9710

Follow Dentaltown

Mobile App



9633 S. 48th Street Suite 200 • Phoenix, AZ 85044 · Phone: +1-480-598-0001 · Fax: +1-480-598-3450
©1999-2019 Dentaltown, L.L.C., a division of Farran Media, L.L.C. · All Rights Reserved