Aim and objective: To evaluate patients presenting to a Dental Hospital\'s healthcare facility for the factors linked with the development of high-risk obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) through oral and radiographic examination.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was performed to identify the patients at high risk of OSA. The patients were screened with the Snoring, Tired, Observed, and Blood Pressure (STOP)—BANG questionnaire, followed by oropharyngeal examination and lateral cephalography.
Results: Three hundred patients were screened for the risk of OSA out of which 194 (64.6%) were men and 106 (35.3%) were women. One hundred twenty-four (41.3%) belonged to the high-risk group and 176 (58.6%) to the low-risk (control) group. Logistic regression analysis confirmed that in the high-risk OSA group, neck circumference, class 3 or 4 Mallampati scores, temporomandibular disorder (TMD), bruxism, wide tongue, and deep palatal vault were all often seen parameters and were independent indications of developing high risk of OSA. The cephalometric analysis revealed decreased airway spaces in the high-risk group with downward displacement of the hyoid bone.
In the high-risk OSA group, neck circumference, class 3 or 4 Mallampati scores, TMD, bruxism, wide tongue, and deep palatal vault were all often seen parameters and were independent indications of developing high risk of OSA.
Conclusion: This study throws light on the imperative role of orofacial features in screening high-risk OSA patients. Dental sleep medicine is an upcoming branch with diversified treatment modalities. Because OSA has been related to the development of fatal medical disorders, it is critical to educate patients about sleep problems and their consequences.
Clinical significance: Oral and radiographic findings can play a pivotal role in identifying patients at risk for OSA. As the general population is unaware about the systemic implications of OSA, the screening for OSA should be conducted as a routine procedure by oral physicians. Oral examination can be a cost-effective tool in screening OSA.
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