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Causes of Bedwetting

Bedwetting Explained by Dr. Ben Miragila

Understanding Bedwetting

Bedwetting can be caused by a compromised airway which can lead to Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB). Over just the past 20 years, compelling research from around the world has forged important links between SDB and certain childhood health issues that plague as many as 9 out of 10 children. These health issues include such commonly diagnosed conditions:

 The central issue for many children suffering from the effects of Sleep Disordered Breathing is a compromised airway. When a child’s airway is narrow, underdeveloped or constructive in any way, the child will struggle to receive enough oxygen at night and may resort to mouth breathing which compounds this issue. We help open up the airway of a growing child by bringing the upper and lower jaws forward and allowing the airway to widen. An open airway increases the oxygen the child receives to the brain which restores the brains function for the next day. This in turn leads to an improved immune system, hormonal system and an overall healthier child.
Mouth breathing is not the same as nasal breathing, and often leads to a further compromise of the airway. Negative aspects of mouth breathing:
• Can be a contributing factor to a compromised airway and in patients who require orthodontic treatment. 
• The proper exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. 
• Prevents the proper function of the tongue and other orofacial muscles that children need to speak, swallow, chew, and function properly.
• Can cause the delicate tissues of the tonsils and adenoids to swell and become enlarged further impacting a restricted airway.

Without proper tongue placement when sleeping, the jaw drops back, and takes the tongue with it which leads to snoring, swollen tonsils or adenoids, tooth decay, bed wetting, restless sleep, delayed or arrested growth, chronic allergies, eczema, asthma, depression, headaches, and the appearance of ADD/ADHD type of behavior. Children without proper REM sleep and lack of the necessary oxygen to their brain while sleeping have trouble in academics such as spelling, math and science.
Home Assessment

There are many things about your child’s health that are important to know, but that I often don’t get to see at the office. Also, there are signs to look for that you may not have known were connected to your child’s teeth or health. By looking for the tracking these “signs and symptoms”, we can have a more complete picture of your child’s overall health.  

You don’t have to spend a lot of time with this assessment tool, just observe their behavior at different times of day. You want to see their most natural behaviors, therefore try not to let your child know that you are watching.   

Check off what you see. If you’re not sure, check it anyway. Make comments if you want, download available below.
While sitting around… (Watching TV, in the car)  
 Does your child:   
• Put “things” in the mouth a lot (toys, sleeves, pencils, fingernails, etc.)  
• Lick or suck on their lips.  
• Have the lips apart, or even a little   
• Stick or dart the tongue out of the mouth   
• Have the tongue resting between the teeth     

While talking…   
Does your child:   
• Talk very fast   
• Talk very slow   
• Gasp for air

During a meal…   
Does year child:   
• Gasp for air while eating   
• Stick his tongue between his teeth when swallowing   
• Stick the tongue out to meet the drinking glass   
• Drink a lot while eating • Make noises when chewing   
• Eat sloppily   
• Take a breath before drinking

While sleeping…   
Does your child:   
• Have the mouth open   
• Snore • Wet the bed   
• Toss and turn   
• Tilt the head back   
• Wake up frequently     

Medical History   
Does your child OFTEN (more than “once in a while”) complain of:   
• Stomachaches   
• Headaches   
• Ear aches   
o Ringing ears   
o Dizziness   
o Stuffy ears   
o Itchy ears   

Did your child ever:   
• Use a pacifier? Until age ___________.   
• Suck a finger or thumb. Which? _____________________   
• Have allergies   
o Food allergies   
o Skin allergies   
o Seasonal allergies
o Take medication for allergies   

As a baby was your child:     

• breast fed or bottle fed   
• If breast fed, how long?   
• Early to get teeth   
• Late to get teeth  

Did YOU ever:     

• Have crooked teeth   
• Have braces   
• Have extractions for braces  

• Lean the check on a hand   
• Breath with his mouth open, even a little bit   
• Make noises when breathing   
• Have trouble sitting still  

• Have lisp     
• Take speech lessons

• Puff the cheeks out when drinking   
• Make the lips purse when swallowing   
• Make the chin “crinkle” when swallowing   
• Bob the head when swallowing   
• Have trouble sitting still    

• Have frequent nightmares     
• Have abnormal sleep issues   
• Grind the teeth   
• Have trouble waking up   
• Wake with dark circles under eyes 

• Neck aches   
• A runny nose   
• A sore throat   
• Trouble swallowing pills   
• Dry or chapped lips   
• Sore teeth or gums   
• Sores in the mouth

• Have asthma   
o See a doctor about asthma   
• Have learning problems   
• Have attention problems   
• “issues” at school  

• Hard to feed   
• Refusing to chew food   
• Prone to ear infections  

• Have allergies   
• Have asthma   
• Have TMJ or jaw problems    

Restricted Airways

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