Pediatrics + Sleep

Pediatric neurological disorders and chronic diseases are on the rise. Sadly, over 50% of children have a “chronic disease” compared to less than 10% only two generations before. Proper sleep is paramount for health. If your child is exhibiting any of the signs or symptoms below, we may be able to help. Dr. Sahar works closely with your pediatric team to help develop a plan to maximize your child’s quality of sleep for optimal health.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not normal for a child to grind their teeth or snore. This is a sign that your child has a sleep disorder that warrants evaluation. Children DO NOT “grow out” of the grinding despite what most dentists tell you. Our doctors were taught the same in school but their advanced training with sleep physicians taught them the truth behind this sleep related movement disorder. The grinding and the snoring are alarms telling you something is going on and should be evaluated.

Sleep Disorders 

The term “Sleep Related Breathing Disorders” encompasses snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, and upper airway resistance syndrome. All these negatively impact a child’s overall health. If these disorders are left untreated, we can witness:

  • Delayed development 
  • Impaired intelligence 
  • Dysfunction of the nervous system 
  • Memory loss and depression 
  • Weight gain and obesity 

Sleep Related Breathing Disorders can also result in behavioral issues related to:

  • Decreased performance/learning problems in school 
  • Hyperactivity 
  • Aggressiveness 
  • Social isolation, withdrawal 

Monitoring Your Child 

  • Does your child wake in the morning in the same position they went to sleep in? 
  • In the morning, are your child’s bed sheets nicely placed or strewn all about the bed? 
  • Does your child have dark circles under their eyes? 
  • Does your child seem inattentive? 
  • Does your child grind their teeth at night? 

Dr. Klauer often encourages patients to read this article for a dental perspective on pediatric sleep-disordered breathing and this article about the behavioral outcomes pediatrics experience with this condition. To learn more about how proper treatment of OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) in children can impact your family, contact us.

Symptoms Include
  • Tooth grinding 
  • Mouth breathing 
  • Restlessness during sleep 
  • Sleeping in odd positions 
  • Periods of not breathing 
  • Night terrors 
  • Recurrent ear infections 
  • Night sweats 
  • Mood changes 
  • Poor concentration 
  • Bedwetting 
  • Headaches 
  • Frequent infections 
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A comprehensive exam is essential in determining the origin of the TMD/facial pain. Our team routinely treats adults who have had problems since childhood and makes it a mission to help ensure these children aren’t future patients.


The good news is that tooth grinding in children can be managed and sometimes cured or prevented. Because children are still growing, their structure can be directed for optimal developmental orthopedically.  

TMD/Head & Facial Pain 

Among the most notable signs of TMJ/TMD dysfunction in children is bruxism, or tooth grinding. This is not normal and is classified as a sleep disorder. Contrary to popular thought, children do not grow out of this condition. It is a hallmark of OSA and can indicate a lifetime of TMD and orthopedic development problems ahead.


The most common symptoms of TMD/Facial pain in children are:

    • Morning headaches

    • Facial pain

    • Tooth grinding

    • Audible gnashing of the teeth at night

    • Limited movement of mouth

    • Needing over-the-counter medications for head/face pain

    • Shortened/fractured baby teeth

Symptoms Include
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