Issues surrounding poor sleep habits are very popular in the media. People are being diagnosed with sleep apnea (episodes at night where external breathing is suspended) at accelerated rates. A physician prescribed sleep-study is key. This issue is now found to be very common in younger patients. This can affect how orthodontics is performed. In many adult patients, orthodontic treatment combined with corrective jaw surgery, as discussed in a previous post, has worked very well for a number of my patients. In the growing patient however, certain bite-relationships (where the upper teeth are out in front of the lower teeth, known as a Class II malocclusion) may need to be seen in a different light. If there are sleep issues as children, conventional orthodontic treatment, in particular circumstances, not all, may not be appropriate. It may be necessary to await completion of growth so that corrective jaw surgery can be undertaken to help prevent the serious health effects of apnea in the future. Attached is a link to an interesting newspaper report. In addition, please refer to the previous blog post about orthodontic treatment. The xrays show the changes in the airway of a patient who underwent the procedure discussed today.