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  • Writer's pictureCAFF Team


Episode 74 of the Airway First podcast is now out! You can catch this and all other episodes on Apple, SoundCloud, Podbean, RSS, Spotify, iHeart Radio, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. And don't forget to check us out on YouTube!

Airway First podcast, Maggie Lavender, MSN, RN, FNP-C

My guest today is Dr. Kevin Coppelson. Dr. Kevin Coppelson is a board-certified and fellowship-trained Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing at The Breathe Institute in Southern California. He practices a broad range of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery- with a focus on skeletal augmentation for the treatment of maxillofacial deformities and sleep-related breathing disorders. 

Dr. Coppelson brings the knowledge and experience necessary to stay on the cutting edge of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. 


Dr. Coppelson's highly specialized training provides him with expertise on procedures ranging from corrective jaw surgery, minimally invasive jaw expansion, dental implants, and management of wisdom teeth.

You can find out more about Dr. Coppelson at

Show Notes:


Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) in children may interfere with normal growth and development of the muscles and bones of the face and mouth. These disorders often interfere with how the developing facial and mouth muscles are used for eating, talking, and breathing.

Numerous factors may contribute to OMDs, such as blocked nasal passages caused by large tonsils or allergies. A blocked nasal passage may cause people to breathe through their mouths instead. The tongue might be misplaced at rest or it might be hard to keep the lips together at rest because of something.

When the tongue prevents a child from closing their mouth, the child is forced to breathe through their mouth. Chronic mouth-breathing in children may cause problems such as an elongated face, stunted growth and development, behavioral issues, inadequate sleep, and misalignment or crowding of the teeth.

When your child can’t breathe properly, their brain can’t function properly causing:

  • Difficulties with concentration and problem solving

  • Development of sleep disorders like insomnia

  • Disrupted emotional and social development

  • Misdiagnosis of issues like ADD and ADHD

  • Slower cognitive development

  • Poor performance at school

To help parents with an initial understanding, we've pulled together a list of some of the most common signs and symptoms of OMDs in children between the ages of 0 to 5:

  • Poor latching during breast or bottle feeding (difficulty nursing)

  • Difficulties with the suck-swallow-breathe coordination

  • Tongue protrusion reaching past the lower lip when at rest or during feeding

  • Infant having difficulty transitioning to solids and picking eating as toddlers

  • Late emergence of speech sounds or speech/language delays

  • Labored or difficult breathing

  • Mouth breathing during the day and/or night

  • Restless sleep (including waking up at night, talking in sleep, snoring/interrupted snoring, bedwetting, or excessive sweating while sleeping)

  • Feels sleepy, tired, and/or irritable all-day

  • A gummy smile, crossbite, or grinding teeth

  • Swollen Tonsils and/or adenoids

  • Frequent throat infections and irritations


Education is the first step for any parent who might be concerned about their child's mental and physical health.

The Children's Airway First Foundation Resource library has information that can aid in identifying symptoms and providing guidance on the first steps towards helping your child with an airway disorder.

CAFF Resource Library

As with any medical condition, consult your child's pediatrician should you see any of these symptoms in your child or if you suspect your child is suffering from an airway disorder.

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