Pediatric sleep-disordered breathing: Role of the dentist

Quintessence Int. 2017;48(8):639-645. doi: 10.3290/j.qi.a38554.


Objective: In this review article, the role of the dentist in the evaluation and treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) in children is described. Snoring and OSAS in children is receiving increased awareness, with reported rates approximating 10% of children who regularly snore, and up to 4% who suffer from OSAS. OSAS in children may have serious developmental and behavioral consequences. Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI) is the main outcome of the polysomnography test, but its diagnostic values differ from children to adults, as do treatment approaches.

Data sources and study selection: A comprehensive literature search of publications from 1973 to 2017 in the PubMed Direct databases was performed to collect information about snoring and OSAS in children. The search was limited to peer-reviewed articles written in English with a few exceptions in other languages.

Conclusion: Dentists play a significant role in early detection of OSAS, helping in reducing and preventing its serious consequences. A multidisciplinary treatment team, which manages and treats OSAS, should include the dentist in addition to the sleep specialist and the ENT physician.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Dental Care for Children / methods*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Practice Patterns, Dentists'*
  • Professional Role*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / therapy*