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Evaluating the Link Between Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders and Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Their Relevance to the Dental Hygiene Clinical Evaluation

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dc.contributor.author Schmitz, Janice I.
dc.date.accessioned 2021-04-02T14:22:03Z
dc.date.available 2021-04-02T14:22:03Z
dc.date.issued 2021-03-23
dc.identifier.citation J.I. Schmitz, " Evaluating the Link Between Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders and Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Their Relevance to the Dental Hygiene Clinical Evaluation", Ph.D. dissertation, School of Health Science, Univ. of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT, 2021. en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://scholarworks.bridgeport.edu/xmlui/handle/123456789/4438
dc.description.abstract Background: Dental professionals are in a prime position to recognize the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and make the appropriate referrals for a medical consultation. Due to the frequency of prophylaxis appointments, the dental office is an appropriate setting to conduct OSA screenings, however, dental hygienists are often lacking the knowledge, impacting their attitudes and screening practices during the dental hygiene examination. The aim of this dissertation was to determine if there is a link between orofacial myofunctional disorders and OSA, if the dental hygienist is provided with the education necessary to identify OSA risks and make referrals, and if there is a benefit to including the identification of orofacial myofunctional disorders as risk factors for OSA in the dental hygiene curriculum. Methods: A comprehensive review of the literature related to OMD and OSA was conducted, using the University of Bridgeport Wahlstrom Library databases. Results: The findings of this dissertation demonstrate a clear link between orofacial myofunctional disorders and OSA. Craniofacial features impact upper airway size and contributing factors to its narrowing can lead to an increased risk of collapse and consequently, disrupted nighttime sleep. Dental hygienists are lacking education on sleep-disordered breathing, OSA, and orofacial myofunctional disorders as risk factors for OSA, preventing them from screening for OSA and feeling confident in making referrals. Including orofacial myofunctional disorders as risk factors for OSA into the dental hygiene curriculum would be beneficial. Conclusions: The link between orofacial myofunctional disorders and obstructive sleep apnea is clear. Dental hygienists are not provided adequate education on OSA, or orofacial myofunctional disorders as risk factors for OSA. Including OSA identification and screening into the dental hygiene examination will increase diagnosis and treatment. Including preventative medical screening into the dental appointment reduces the risk of medical comorbidities and increases medical evaluation and treatment, therefore, it has the potential for reducing costs to the healthcare system over time. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Dental curriculum en_US
dc.subject Dental Health en_US
dc.subject Dental Hygiene en_US
dc.subject Myofunctional therapy en_US
dc.subject Obstructive sleep apnea en_US
dc.subject Orofacial myofunctional disorder en_US
dc.title Evaluating the Link Between Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders and Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Their Relevance to the Dental Hygiene Clinical Evaluation en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.institute.department School of Health Science en_US
dc.institute.name University of Bridgeport en_US


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