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Dental Sleep Medicine

Nowadays, the relationship between sleep and Dental Medicine has been increasingly relevant and fundamental for the diagnosis and resolution of breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. The Dentist plays an essential role for having an early diagnosis of this type of sleep disorders.

Some of the signs that could indicate possible sleep apnoea are: the presence of sleep bruxism (wearing facets),recurrent headaches,insomnia orthe shape of the palate and size of the tongue.

Sleep Apnea and Bruxism

Sleep Apnea consists of respiratory arrest during sleep and there may or may not be the presence of snoring. One of the signs that there may be sleep apnea is the presence of bruxism (tooth wear). This happens due to the fact that when there is a respiratory arrest there is an involuntary muscular response in order to find a position that allows more air into the upper airway, and there may be dental contacts during this movement – originating the grinding of teeth.


In order to have a diagnosis of Sleep Apnea, the patient goes through a clinical evaluation of signs and symptoms that the Dentist identifies and diagnoses in the 1st appointment and it may be necessary to prescribe complementary tests such as Polysomnography, which will monitor the patient’s sleep, identifying the presence/absence of sleep disorders, snoring, sleep bruxism, oxygen desaturation, among others.


After a correct diagnosis, if mild to moderate sleep apnoea is present, one of the solutions is the use of a mandibular advancement device.

This device allows for mandibular advancement, stabilising the jaw in a position where there is no collapse of the upper airway. This will reduce the number of episodes of Sleep Apnoea and Snoring.

FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

I snore but I don't have Sleep Apnea. Is the mandibular advancement device suitable for me?

Yes, it might be a solution after a correct diagnosis. Mandibular advancement devices may be indicated for cases in which the patient snores and does not have Sleep Apnea.

Is the mandibular advancement device indicated whenever Sleep Apnea is diagnosed?

No. The device should be used in cases of mild to moderate Sleep Apnea.

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