PARENTS BE WARNED! If you can tell if your newborn is having trouble with their breathing when they are sleeping you need to check it out very carefully. It could sound like snoring or just effortful breathing.
In the general population, 2% to 3% of children have apnea. And that is growing because of the increase in childhood obesity. The prevalence of snoring in children ranges from 10% to 21% from 6 to 81 months and habitual snoring has been reported in 9% of infants aged 0 to 3 months. Habitually snoring children are at higher risk for social problems, poor academic performance, decreased attention, hyperactivity, and anxiety/depression issues. Children who snore are not likely to "grow out of it" without experiencing cognitive impairment.
The damage from children snoring appears to be related to the fact that their brains are developing at this time and the brain is not getting the oxygen that it needs for this development. The critical time for this development is at or before 3 years of age. By 4 years old, children who had a history of sleep disordered breathing were 20% to 60% more likely to exhibit behavioral difficulties; by 7 years, they were 40% to 100% more likely.
Bruxism(teeth grinding) occurs in up to 30% of children, often around 5 and 6 years during adenoid and tonsillar enlargement. The cause is not from stress, neurochemical or occlusion. Bruxism occurs during microarousals from regular sleep patterns. And the most common cause for these microarousals appears to be respiratory efforts. The bruxing appears to dialate the upper airway, raises respiratory flow and reduces airway resistance so they can breathe better.
The most common cause of sleep disordered breathing in children are enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Have the pediatrician look at this carefully and if they are enlarged have them removed. It can save you and your child a lifetime of problems.