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Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2007 Feb;131(2):176-83.

The effects of oral appliance therapy on occlusal function in patients with obstructive sleep apnea: a short-term prospective study.

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Division of Orthodontics, Department of Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.



The aim of this study was to objectively and prospectively assess whether oral appliances (OAs) alter occlusal function in patients treated for snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.


The occlusal contact area (OCA) and bite force (Bf) of 12 patients who used OAs were measured with pressure-sensitive sheets in the morning and evening with the Dental Prescale Occluzer System. OCA and Bf were compared in each measurement period by using ANOVA. Percentage changes in the morning relative to the evening (OCA(M-E) and Bf(M-E)) were compared between the 2 periods by using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Correlations between percentage changes in pretreatment and posttitration ((Pre-Post)OCA and (Pre-Post)Bf), age, and cephalometric variables were also assessed.


Patients showed significant decreases in OCA and Bf when posttitration readings were compared with corresponding pretreatment measurements. OCA(M-E) and Bf(M-E) were significantly different between pretreatment and posttitration, suggesting that OCA and Bf tend to be smaller in the morning with OA use. (Pre-Post)Bf measured in the evening correlated with age.


Effects on occlusal function after OA use were observed. These results suggest that practitioners should pay attention to the possible side effects of OAs on the dentition when treating patients with snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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