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Niger J Clin Pract. 2019 Sep;22(9):1175-1179. doi: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_97_19.

Does obstructive sleep apnea affect oral and periodontal health in children with down syndrome? A preliminary study.

Author information

Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Marmara University, Faculty of Dentistry, Maltepe, Basibuyuk Saglik Kampusu, 34854, Istanbul, Turkey.
Department of Periodontology, Marmara University, Faculty of Dentistry, Maltepe, Basibuyuk Saglik Kampusu, 34854, Istanbul, Turkey.
Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Istanbul University, Istanbul Medical Faculty, Topkapı Mahallesi, Turgut Özal Millet Cd, 34093 Fatih/İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey.
Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Marmara University, Medical Faculty, Fevzi Çakmak Mahallesi, Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu Cd No: 10, 34899 Pendik/İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey.



Children with Down syndrome (DS) are at increased risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) compared with children without DS, with reported prevalence of 31 ± 75% among clinical-based samples. We aimed to find out whether there is any effect of OSA on periodontal and dental health in children with DS.

Material and Methods:

Overnight polysomnography (PSG) was performed. OSA was defined as Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) ≥ 1/h. Children received a full mouth periodontal and dental examination that included probing depths (PD), plaque index (PI), gingival index (GI), and bleeding on probing (BOP) on six sites per tooth. Decay, decay - Missing, missing - Filling, filling - Tooth, tooth (DMFT-for permanent tooth/dmft-for primary tooth) scores were calculated.


Children were divided into two groups depending on whether they were diagnosed with OSA or no OSA. Group 1 (DS with OSA) and Group 2 (DS without OSA) included 11 children (age = 11.5 ± 2.2) and 7 children (mean age = 9.7 ± 2.3), respectively. Subjects in Group 1 displayed statistically significantly higher levels of GI (P = 0.020) and BOP (P = 0.006) than Group 2.


OSA is an important problem for DS and may affect oral health negatively. Based on our findings, OSA can be associated with impaired gingival health in DS children and close follow-up may be necessary for this group.


Down syndrome; OSA; oral health

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