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Resources for Feeding, Eating, Drinking, Speech, and Mouth/Airway Function


Hot Topic Blog - Mouth Development & Function


By Dr. Kevin Boyd, Pediatric Dentist and Researcher in Chicago, Illinois, USA

November 2016


Certain malocclusion phenotypes, like high-vaulted palates, retro-gnathic jaws, etc. are often co-morbid with chronic diseases like Obstructive Sleep Apnea and associated Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD). Skeletal malocclusion traits like these were seldom seen in humans before the Industrial Revolution and have grown progressively higher in prevalence within modern industrialized societies since the early/mid-19th-Century. Evidence from recently obtained fetal ultrasound images along with observations of archived skull collections from several museums worldwide indicate skeletal malocclusion might actually be first detectable in utero.

Pediatric Dentists, Orthodontists, and General Dentists, who provide services for children, have specialized training and/or experience in both cranio-facial growth and development, as well as with managing the age-appropriate expectations and anxiety behaviors often exhibited by children in clinical settings. Thus, child-focused dental professionals are optimally positioned to offer pediatric airway risk assessment services, and when indicated, also provide appropriately timed and applied orthodontic/dento-facial orthopedic intervention services. 

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the AHS video lecture, participants will be able to:

-Describe published scientific evidence that indicates a link between sleep disordered breathing (SDB)/obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and increased risk for developing ADD/ADHD.

-Describe how and why certain malocclusion phenotypes, like retro-gnathic mandibles, mid-face deficiency, high-vaulted palates, and vertical growth can be bi-directionally associated with SDB/OSA.

-Competently conduct a scientifically-validated chair-side pediatric sleep and airway health assessment

Link to Dr. Boyd’s complete AHS presentation on Pre- and Post-Natal Retro-Gnathia:

About the Author/Speaker

Kevin Boyd is a board-certified pediatric dentist with over 20 years of experience delivering outstanding dental healthcare to infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with physical and/or mental disabilities, and other special needs. After graduating from Loyola University's Chicago College of Dentistry in 1986, he attended the University of Iowa for his advanced residency training in Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Boyd also holds an advanced degree (MSc) in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Michigan State University where he participated in research projects related to unhealthy eating and how it contributes to tooth decay, obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes. His strong academic background in nutritional biochemistry has been instrumental in motivating the importance he places on nutrition as being a key component of each child's dental health plan.

He has received specialty training in Pediatric Dentistry from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and further advanced continuing education and clinical training by Gnathos, a prestigious institute of advanced education in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics for growing children. He is recognized as a leading clinician in the Chicago area for diagnosing and treating interferences to normal growth of the teeth, jaws and face.

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