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Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache
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J Orofac Pain 23 (2009), No. 4     17. Dec. 2009
J Orofac Pain 23 (2009), No. 4  (17.12.2009)

Page 339-344


Prevalence of Temporomandibular Disorders in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients Referred for Oral Appliance Therapy
Cunali, Paulo A. / Almeida, Fernanda R. / Santos, Camila D. / Valdrighi, Natália Y. / Nascimento, Liliane S. / Dal'Fabbro, Cibele / Tufik, Sérgio / Bittencourt, Lia Rita A.
Aims: To evaluate the prevalence of pain associated with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) patients referred for oral appliance therapy.
Methods: Eighty-seven patients (46 men and 41 women), between 18 and 65 years of age, with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of > 5 and < 30 (events by sleep hour), and body mass index (BMI) of <= 30 Kg/m2 were evaluated according to the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/TMD) to determine the presence of signs and symptoms of TMD. Statistical analyses included correlations assessed by Pearson's test.
Results: Fifty-two percent of patients presented symptoms of TMD. Thirty-two patients (average age 47 ± 11 years, AHI 17.3 ± 8.7, BMI 25.9 ± 3.8 kg/m2) completed the study. According to the Scoring Protocol for Graded Chronic Pain (Axis II-RDC/TMD), 75% of the patients presented chronic pain related to TMD, categorized as low disability grade I (< 50 points for pain intensity, and < 3 disability points). The most common TMD diagnosis was myofascial pain with and without limited mouth opening and arthralgia (50%).
Conclusion: The high prevalence of TMD in the current study indicates that patients with OSAS referred for oral appliance therapy require specific evaluation related to TMD.

Keywords: oral appliance, prevalence, side effects, sleep apnea, temporomandibular disorders