Behavioral Diagnosis

Behavioral Diagnosis

May 13, 2021

What do these symptoms…


And these signs…

        • SNORING
        • MIGRAINES
        • BEDWETTING

…have in common?

And what could be their root cause?

According to research in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association,[1] children are grossly underdiagnosed for sleep disordered breathing, which includes obstructive sleep apnea, and  the symptoms may be 


Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) is the general term used for breathing disorders experienced throughout the night. SDB ranges from primary snoring (PS) to the extreme of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Take a look at these concerning statistics:

  • Up to 15% of children have some form of SDB  
  • About 90% of those children go undiagnosed![2]
  • Undiagnosed SDB children use health care 226% more than the general population.[3]

Sadly, John White, a dentist who co-authored a study on children with SDB says,

Children who have behavior problems or are suspected to have ADHD 

might actually be suffering from a chronic lack of restorative sleep,”

One study concluded that, “Children with SDB demonstrate significant functional deficits in regard to conflict monitoring, attention, and inhibition.[4]

Study after study, in PubMed articles, show compelling evidence that SDB in children is associated with not only behavioral problems, but also neurocognitive problems. They conclude that these problems can lead to a reduction in a child’s quality-of-life. Thankfully, the studies also suggest that when a child’s sleep is improved, it can also improve their behavior, neurocognition and quality-of-life![5]

I’ll bet that you would think the child you can hear down the hallway snoring heavily between his teeth-grinding episodes would score the poorest behavior, wouldn’t you? And maybe, you’ve thought your child, lying in their bed, gently snoring the night away, was cute and cuddly, didn’t you?

Well, mom and dad, sorry to turn that dreamy scene into a nightmare, but surprisingly, recent studies report that what was once thought as only benign primary snoring (PS) in children can actually lead to symptoms of anxiety, depression, increased social problems, reduced attention compared to control groups[6] and even auditory behavior impairment![7] And paradoxically, the group diagnosed as PS to mild OSA exhibited the worst behavior… over the control group, as well as the severe OSA group!

Because behavioral, attention, and executive dysfunction presents across the entire SDB spectrum[8], can you see why the ramifications of inadequate sleep in children and teens have been labeled as “a major public health concern[9] rather than what was previously viewed as simply benign?

By this point, you are probably wondering, why is the medical field so blind to what is actually going on with our children… especially since, “there is now a plethora of evidence that children with SDB show deficits in neurocognitive performance, behavioral impairments, and school performance” [10]?

Well, it is likely accredited to the fact that pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists are often unaware of the advances and the remedies available[11] to their patients using a multi-disciplinary approach that can include non-surgical, drug-free, FDA approved oral appliance therapy. They most likely don’t realize that there is a way to treat behavioral issues at the root of the problem … the constricted airway.

So how can Dr. Azouz, a dentist, help your children and/or adolescents enjoy a restful and restorative night sleep?

Let me first start off with saying that adenoid and tonsil removal may not be the best choice to begin with. Although there are a number of cases where children have endured this surgery and had improved behavioral scores, doesn’t surgical removal of an organ sound like something you may want to avoid for your child if at all possible?

When you take into consideration that mouth breathing, as opposed to nose breathing, causes the tonsils and adenoids to be assaulted by bacteria laden air, why would they not get inflamed and infected and then obstruct the airway?

Dr. Azouz can help your child naturally breathe through their nose by guiding their dental arches into a well-developed form, allowing the tongue to come forward and out of the throat. This proper guidance increases the volume in their upper airway and allows them to breathe comfortably through their nose which has been proven to remedy SDB!

2 Important Questions:

  • How would your child’s and your family’s lives change when you remove the behavioral issue from your home?
  • Why not solve issue at the root of the problem?

I encourage you to check out a fascinating story of how opening up Conner Deegan’s airway changed a boy and his family for the rest of their lives at

Don’t hesitate another day to give us a call for a complimentary evaluation with Dr. Azouz in Citrus Heights and see how we can help your child breathe in a healthier future.












This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 

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