Dentists Screen for Child Sleep Disorder

SAN ANTONIO, June 7 (UPI) — Canadian researchers suggest dentists screen children for sleep-disordered breathing.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver say dentists seeing a patient on a regular basis may have more opportunity than a physician for screening pediatric dental patients for sleep-disordered breathing — including obstructive sleep apnea, upper-airway resistance syndrome and snoring.

Lead author Dr. Hiroko Tsuda emphasizes patients determined to be at risk should go to a sleep specialist to be diagnosed.

“Based on this study, family dentists may find the preliminary risks of sleep disordered breathing by using simple questionnaires,” Tsuda says in a statement.

Tsuda and colleagues had two questionnaires filled out by parents or guardians of 189 children ages 7-15.

One questionnaire, which included questions on symptoms and caregiver concerns, found two children at risk. A second questionnaire, with 22 “yes, no, or don’t know” type questions, found 11 children at risk.

The study is being presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine in San Antonio.

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