16.11.2014
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition that has received an unprecedented level of attention over the past decade. Bruxism has been classified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as a “Sleep related movement disorder”. The following CT scans of a sleep apnea patient’s airway response to clenching are very revealing. In February of 2006 the American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a position paper on the efficacy of Oral Appliance Therapy that recommended “Oral appliances are indicated for use in patients with mild to moderate OSA who prefer them to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, or who do not respond to, are not appropriate candidates for, or who fail treatment attempts with CPAP”.
The post Sleep Deprivation in Middle and High School Students Requires Action Not More Studies! It wasn’t a scientific survey, but if the level of discourse at the recent APSS meeting was any indication, sleep physicians are warming up to dental sleep medicine.


Sleep apnea induced bruxism can have significant implications for standard dental procedures. Simmons JH, Prehn R, Airway protection: the missing link between nocturnal bruxism and obstructive sleep apnea. Simmons JH, Prehn R, Nocturnal bruxism as a protective mechanism against obstructive breathing during sleep.
Prehn R, Simmons JH, Prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in patients with temporal mandibular joint disease (TMD).
Source Sleep and Performance Research Center, Washington State University, Spokane, WA, USA.
The decade of dental of sleep medicine may have quietly kicked off in the halls of this year’s Associated Professional Sleep Societies’ meeting in San Antonio.


When major dental restorative procedures are contemplated, the identification of bruxing patients who suffer from OSA becomes andeven more compelling objective. As the airway is collapsing during sleep the brain initiates clenching and grinding as a subconscious mechanical technique to open the airway and improve breathing.
As a “Best Practices” approach towards overall patient health the profession of dentistry has an opportunity and responsibility to address obstructive sleep apnea and related sleep bruxism. Prior to his position of Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicines, he was a member of the Joint Medical-Dental sleep research team from 1989 to 1993, and carried a rank of Clinical Assistant Professor.



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