A new definition of dental sleep medicine

F. Lobbezoo, G. Aarab, P. Wetselaar, A. Hoekema, J. de Lange, N. de Vries

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic


Dental Sleep Medicine is the discipline concerned with the study of the oral and maxillofacial causes and consequences of sleep-related problems. Within the framework of this newly proposed definition, the discipline covers the following conditions: orofacial pain; oral moistening disorders (oral dryness, hypersalivation); gastro-esophageal reflux disorder; sleep-related breathing disorders (snoring, ob-structive sleep apnea); and mandibular movement disorders (dyskinesia, dystonia, sleep bruxism). This article briefly outlines these conditions, with particular emphasis on whether they have adverse effects on patients, and when a condition should be regarded as a disorder and therefore diagnosed and if necessary managed. This is found to be the case with virtually all these conditions, except with sleep bruxism, which does not have adverse effects on everyone, in which case it counts as ‘behavior’. Diagnosing and managing behavior is controversial, especially since sleep bruxism also appears to have positive effects. A cautious approach is therefore called for.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-112
JournalJournal of Dental Sleep Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Published before in: Journal of Oral Rehabilitation (2016) vol. 43, pp. 786-790. Translation of: Tandheelkundige slaapgeneeskunde: een overzicht, by F. Lobbezoo et al., published in ACTA Quality Practice, 2015.


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