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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 23

J Clin Med



Symptoms of Nocturnal Masticatory Muscle Activity among Women of Different Age Groups and Their Association to Obstructive Sleep Apnea-A Cross Sectional Study.


Sleep bruxism (SB), snoring, and excessive daytime sleepiness are often associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA, which is characterized by a repetitive collapse of the upper airway during sleep, can cause oxygen desaturation and lead to adverse medical conditions, such as cardiovascular events, hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. In the present study, 112 Arab women aged 20-40 years (Early Adulthood/Adulthood-EarlyA) and 116 Arab women aged 50 and above (Middle Age-MiddleA), were requested to complete questionnaires regarding demographic variables, symptoms of nocturnal masticatory muscle activity (possible SB, headache, and stiffness of the oral and/or neck musculature upon awakening), risk of OSA (STOP-BANG questionnaire), and daytime sleepiness (Epworth sleepiness scale-ESS). Women, who reported snoring, experienced more SB (35.8% vs. 20.6%, chi-square, < 0.05), more headaches (33.3% vs. 19.3%, < 0.05), and more muscle stiffness upon awakening (34.3% vs. 16.3%, < 0.005), than their non-snoring counterparts. Out of the women who snore, 11% showed high risk for OSA, as compared to only 1% among the non-snoring participants ( < 0.000). Symptoms of nocturnal masticatory muscle activity and/or snoring can serve as initial indicators of OSA. Higher awareness of dentists to such symptoms, particularly among their middle-aged female patients, can prevent a development of harmful conditions associated with OSA.