Updated: Jul 22
Being the parent of a child with an airway disorder can be a daunting task. You want to be an advocate for your child and do all you can to help them get the care they need, but you may not always know what questions to ask or where to turn to for help for your child.
We've pulled together a comprehensive list to help guide your education and better equip you to support your child's airway management needs. Read on to find books, blogs, videos, research, and other resources.
AIRWAY DISORDER TERMINOLOGY
One of the first steps you can take as a parent towards equipping yourself to be the best advocate possible for your child is to get a firm understanding of some basic terminology around childhood airway disorders. Here are a few of the most common to help get you started:
Airway-Centric Dentist: Airway dentistry focuses on addressing common and complex concerns related to the structure of the bite and palate, which affects how you breathe.
C-GASP: Children's General Airway Screening Protocol by the American Dental Association
Early Childhood Malocclusions (ECM): Malocclusion refers to any degree of irregular contact between the teeth of your child's upper jaw with the teeth of the lower jaw. This includes overbites, underbites, and crossbites, as well as crowding of your child's teeth.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD): Patterns involving oral and orofacial musculature that interfere with normal growth, development, or function of orofacial structures
Oral Myofunctional Therapy (OMT): An exercise training program for the muscles around your face, mouth, and tongue
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Occurs when breathing is interrupted during sleep, for longer than 10 seconds at least 5 times per hour (on average) throughout a sleep period.
Proper Breathing: Starts in the nose and then moves to the stomach as your diaphragm contracts, the belly expands and your lungs fill with air; non-mouth breathing
Sleep Disorder Breathing (SDB): Refers to a wide spectrum of sleep-related conditions including increased resistance to airflow through the upper airway, heavy snoring, marked reduction in airflow (hypopnea), and complete cessation of breathing (apnea)
Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs): A tongue or an upper lip that is bound too tightly to the mouth and can prevent movement, speech, and airway flow; tongue-tie or lip-tie
Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome: A sleep disorder characterized by the narrowing of the airway that can cause disruptions to sleep. The symptoms include unrefreshing sleep, fatigue, sleepiness, chronic insomnia, and difficulty concentrating
BOOKS, BLOGS, AND PODCASTS
Books we recommend:
If Your Mouth Could Talk, by Kami Hoss
Brave Parent: Raising Healthy, Happy Kids Against All Odds, by Dr. Susan Maples DDS MSBA
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, by James Nestor
GASP: Airway Health - The Hidden Path to Wellness, by Dr. Michael Gelb
JAWS: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic, by Sandra Kahn
Blogs we recommend:
Podcasts we recommend:
Breathe Easy, by the American Thoracic Society
Airway Circle with Renata Nehme
Sleep Apnea Stories with Emma Cooksey
Untethered with Hallie Bulkin, MA, CCC-SLP, COM
SLEEP AND AIRWAY RESEARCH
Sleep and airway disorders in children by the numbers:
Sleep-disordered breathing in children is estimated to be 30-35% (when mouth breathing and upper airway resistance syndrome are included)
According to the Guilleminault and Huang's study, 82% of infants born before thirty-four weeks of gestation have high narrow palates and most have breastfeeding issues
It is estimated that tongue-ties affect 20% of babies
It is estimated that 4-10% of the population shows the prevalence of being tongue-tied
According to a study conducted by Healthy People 2030, only 65% of children between the ages of 4-months and 14-years old get a sufficient amount of sleep each night
Sleep and airway research:
The Silent Epidemic: How Airway Disorders Are Quietly Destroying the Health of Children and Overwhelming Our Global Health System, by the Children's Airway First Foundation
Childhood Sleep Apnea Linked to Brain Damage and Lowering IQ Rates, by Johns Hopkins Medicine
Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges, by the US Surgeon General
The Prevalence of Malocclusion is Higher in School Children with Signs of ADHD, by the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthodontics
MEDICAL SUPPORT FOR PARENTS
In addition to the information we've listed here, the Children's Airway First Foundation has a robust resource library with blogs, podcasts, videos, research, and more.
You can also become part of the conversation and find support via our online parent's port, Airway Huddle.