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Natl J Maxillofac Surg. 2010 Jan;1(1):35-40. doi: 10.4103/0975-5950.69162.

Role of oral health professional in pediatric obstructive sleep apnea.

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  • 1Department of Orthodontics and Dental Anatomy, Dr. Z. A. Dental College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India.


Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) in children is common. The impact of SDB on the growth and development of child may have detrimental effects on health, neuropsychological development, quality of life, and economic potential; therefore, SDB in children should be recognized as a public health problem as in the adult population. The coexistence of obesity and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) not only appears to yield increased morbidity rates and poorer responses to therapy, but also is altogether associated with a distinct and recognizable clinical phenotype. Therapeutic options have somewhat expanded since the initial treatment approaches were conducted, to include not only surgical extraction of hypertrophic adenoids and tonsils, but also nonsurgical alternatives such as continuous positive air pressure, anti-inflammatory agents and oral appliances (OAs). Now, American academy of sleep medicine (AAOSM) has recommended OAs for OSA, hence the therapeutic interventions that are directed at the site of airway obstruction in the maxillofacial region are within the scope of dentistry. Among the physicians treating the children, dentists are more likely to identify adenotonsillar hypertrophy. Hence, the dentist can play an important role in identifying and treating those cases with OAs, who refuse the surgery, or those with structural abnormality in which myofunctional appliances are beneficial.


Obstructive sleep apnea; oral appliances; polysomnography

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