Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by partial or complete obstruction of the upper airways during sleep and it has been associated with temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) on the basis of several pathophysiological hypotheses.
to assess the prevalence of TMDs in a population of patients affected by OSA compared to a control group of subjects not affected by OSA.
a cross-sectional controlled study was conducted on a group subjects studied by polygraphy (PG) at the snoring section of the ENT department, Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital – University of Bologna. Patients who received a diagnosis of OSA were included in the study group and subjects with a negative PG diagnosis for Sleep Disordered Breathing and PG respiratory pattern that did not suggest the occurrence of sleep disorders were enrolled in the control group. Both the subjects included in the study group and the control group underwent an examination following the Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders Axis I and II.
43 OSA patients (29M, 16F, mean age 52.26±11.40) and 43 healthy controls (25M, 18F, mean age 49.95±7.59) were included in the study. No significant differences were found between groups in demographic data. TMD prevalence and Axis II results did not differ between groups.
this paper does not highlight a higher prevalence of TMDs in adults with OSA compared to healthy controls. Further high quality studies are needed to confirm the results and to give possible pathophysiological explanations, providing reliable evidence.

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