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Sleep Apnea Management for the Dentist

Course Number: 578

Other Considerations

Morning headaches can be a symptom of OSA. Morning headaches are reported in 33.6% of OSA patients compared to 8.9% in a control group, and treating the OSA resolves nearly 90% of these headaches.35

Some medications dentists prescribe may aggravate OSA. Drugs to avoid in untreated or non-adherent OSA patients include the benzodiazepines and the opioid class of medications, as both of these aggravate OSA symptoms.36 However the non-benzodiazepine hypnotics such as zolpidem or eszopiclone are able to be used in OSA.

And finally on the dental side, a relationship exists between the presence of tooth wear with OSA and sleep bruxism (SB).37 While tooth wear may or may not be indicative of current SB, both OSA and SB exhibit periods of cortical hyperarousal and micro-arousals during sleep.39