B] Causes of Snoring in Children
Apart from affecting the regular growth and development of the child, restriction of airflow (that causes snoring) could impact the child’s mood and behaviour. It could lead to learning issues, ADHD-like symptoms, insulin resistance, and obesity. If snoring is not treated at an early stage, there is a high risk of acquiring sleep apnea in adulthood, which could lead to thyroid, diabetes, blood pressure, etc. Mentioned below are a few causes of snoring in children.
Enlarged or swollen tonsils & adenoids:
This is one of the common causes of snoring in children. Both tonsils and adenoids are tiny tissues. Tonsils are found at the back of the mouth on both sides of the throat, while adenoids are located behind the nose. If any of these tissues become naturally large or swollen due to infection, it may lead to obstruction of the airway that can cause snoring.
Overweight children are more prone to snoring as obesity can narrow the airway, increasing the risk of SDB, especially obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Nasal congestion can block the smooth airflow, while an infection may inflame the tonsils and adenoids.
Allergies are known to increase the risk of inflammation in the nose and throat. This could make breathing difficult for the child, increasing the risk of snoring.
Asthma can cause partial airway blockage, which may affect normal breathing resulting in snoring.
Tongue tie in children prevents the tongue from resting in the roof of the mouth, hampering breathing, jaw growth, eating, drinking, posture, among others. If left untreated, tongue ties can cause loud snoring in children. Here, correction of tongue function and mobility can help improve nasal breathing and open up the airway passage.
Poor muscle tone:
Poor muscle tone in the face, throat and tongue could interfere with the airflow as the muscles become too relaxed, collapsing into the airway.
Backwardly positioned lower jaw:
Snoring in children can also be caused due to the lower jaw dropping backwards during sleep, due to a narrow upper jaw or the lack of muscle strength. When the jaw falls back, the tongue falls back too, blocking the airway. Snoring is the hoarse or harsh sound that occurs when air flows past the blocked tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe.
Narrow upper jaw:
Likewise, if a child’s upper jaw is narrow, it can cause a deviated septum in the nose and also restrict the lower jaw to grow forward thereby causing breathing issues that could lead to snoring.
Lack of tongue space:
Narrow and receding jaws could lead to insufficient tongue space in the mouth leading to airway obstruction, impeding the airflow.