Note: your dentist and orthodontist can refer directly to us for an ENT opinion.
We are one of the leading ENT clinics in Australia that works directly with dentists and orthodontists. This has come about through a greater understanding and appreciation of the need for specialist interaction. Through consultation with dentists and orthodontists, we have formulated management strategies to assist in achieving better outcomes for patients. Some of the more common problems we see are as follows:
Children who have a blocked nose and/or snore are up to 4-5 times more likely to need braces to correct dental and jaw problems. These children may have big tonsils, large adenoids, or inferior nasal turbinate hypertrophy. Early correction of any airway problems is very important. Children with hayfever are a high risk group for these types of problems.
Teeth grinding at night
Up until recently, children who were grinding their teeth at night were thought to be “stressed”. Research now shows that during the lighter phases of sleep there is a disturbance to the pattern of sleep, which results in muscles clenching and, hence, the grinding. The evidence now points to a problem related to obstructed breathing. We have treated children who grind their teeth by addressing their obstructed breathing, and the grinding has then stopped.
Altered swallowing patterns due to obstruction are becoming increasing recognised, with the most common consequence being an aversion to certain consistencies of meat, and subsequent iron deficiency. We do not have a cure for the fussy eater, but we regularly see children where the problem is obstruction and subsequent to treatment, there is a change in the child’s eating preferences.
There is a link between dental decay and certain types of sinusitis. Identifying this is important to ensure the correct treatment is offered, dealing with the source of the problem.
Assessment of adult snoring and suitability for mandibular advancement splints
The concept that adult sleep apnoea is due to the tongue falling back is somewhat limited in its accuracy. By using nasal and throat telescopes we can assess the potential benefit, or otherwise, of jaw splints and mouthguards. It is also important to be able to breathe through the nose to allow the use of such devices, and this is all assessed at the same time.