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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

                                                                      1415 SAGE STREET ~ GERING, NEBRASKA 69341 
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       Obstructions due to chronically congested nasal passages or enlarged tonsils may affect the growth of the face.  "Long face syndrome" is a term describing the longer, narrow face of children who suffer from uncontrolled allergies or, an obstruction of the upper airway which creates an inability to breathe through the nose.

   Narrow nostrils, shadows beneath the eyes and constantly open lips may also be associated with blockage of the upper airway or allergies.

    If the child is unable to breath through the nose, mouth breathing results, which may affect overall health since important nasal functions are bypassed.  As air passes through the nose, it is warmed, humidified and cleaned of foreign particles, pollen and bacterial.  In addition, dry air carries less oxygen than moist air to the lungs, causing these children to fatigue more rapidly!

    The child's bite may change too.  Unbalanced muscles forces compress the upper jaw and the tongue may protrude through the front teeth, forcing them outward.  If the constriction of the upper jaw repositions the molars, your dentist may recommend expansion of the upper jaw with an appliance, which also often improves breathing.

     In some children a severe upper airway blockage can cause breathing to stop during sleep or sleep apnea.  These children may not grown normally because of the energy they expend trying to breathe during the night.  Also these children may be hyperactive and experience poor concentration, headaches, nightmares and bedwetting.

    Parents may use an audio or video to tape documentation of the child's sleep disturbances.  A doctor may recommend removal of adenoids if sleep apnea is due to obstruction of the upper airway.

    If allergies are the source of the problem, the causes need to be determined and removes.  Parents are to try to minimize dust.  Use:

bulletdamp cloth to dust
bulletremove carpet, stuffed animals, down pillows and down comforters
bulletbuy hypoallergenic pillows, cover mattresses and pillows with dust mite barrier cover
bulletdoctor may recommend drugs or allergy shots to reduce allergic responses

  Knowing what a nose knows may help to improve the quality of life.

Dentalnotes pg 3 9/04

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
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