Embargoed for release: 6:00 a.m. (CST), 7:00 a.m. (EST), Wednesday, February 1, 2006
Dana Bowne Tara Hamacher
Facts about snoring and obstructive sleep apnea:
- An estimated 30 million – or one in eight – Americans snore.
- Individuals who snore have a high likelihood of having (or developing) obstructive sleep apnea
- Approximately 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.
- Some 28 percent of men over the age of 65 suffer from sleep apnea ƒ Up to 50 percent of sleep apnea. patients have high blood pressure
- Risk for heart attack and stroke also may increase among those who have sleep apnea.
- Nearly 60 percent of Americans suffer from daytime sleepiness, a side effect of sleep apnea.
- Snoring and mild-moderate apnea is improved and often eliminated in many patients who use oral appliances.
- Each year, sleep disorders add an estimated $15.9 billion to the national healthcare bill.
Sources: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Sleep Apnea Association and the National Sleep Foundation
New Guidelines Recommend Oral Appliances for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
WESTCHESTER, Ill., February 1 – New practice parameters published today by the American
Academy of Sleep Medicine in the medical journal SLEEP recommend oral appliances as a first-line treatment for snoring and mild- moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is good news for the estimated 18 million OSA sufferers in the U.S., since it enables them to avoid the risks associated with surgery and the discomfort that can accompany other treatment methods.
Signs and symptoms
OSA causes snoring, airway blockage and sleep disruption. It occurs when the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse to block the airway during sleep, producing pauses in breathing that can occur a few times or several hundred times a night, disrupting sleep. OSA can cause:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- An increased risk of high blood pressure
- Higher rates of stroke, arrhythmias, heart attack and even death.
In fact, OSA reportedly contributed to the 2004 death of football great Reggie White. Experts also believe that it may be responsible for a high percentage of on-the-job injuries and motor vehicle accidents, as well.
OSA can be life threatening: Treating it is important
“Oral appliances may help people who have tried other OSA
treatments and been unsuccessful or who have not complied with their treatment,” added Lawrence Epstein, M.D., president, American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
“OSA is a serious, life-threatening condition – but for many patients, alleviating its effects can be as easy as utilizing an oral appliance at night,” explains ADSM president, Kent Moore, M.D.,
D.D.S. “Oral appliances, which resemble sports mouth guards, may control mild to moderate OSA with minimal discomfort or disruption.”
This practice parameter is based on an accompanying review of extensive evidence found in the scientific literature that was performed by an expert task force.
While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is still considered the most efficacious treatment for OSA, many patients find this form of treatment uncomfortable or intolerable, making an oral appliance often a more appropriate option. The new practice parameters (and accompanying review paper) validate the effectiveness of oral appliances as a viable treatment alternative for those patients with mild to moderate OSA who either prefer it to CPAP, or are unable to successfully comply with CPAP treatment. Until there is higher quality evidence to suggest efficacy, CPAP is indicated whenever possible for patients with severe OSA before considering oral appliances.
According to Dr. Moore, oral appliances offer a safe, effective and non-invasive treatment option for the millions of Americans suffering from OSA and severe, chronic snoring. When utilized during sleep, they help maintain an open and unobstructed airway in the throat by repositioning or stabilizing the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate or uvula. There are many types of oral appliances, with some designed specifically for snoring and others intended to treat both snoring and sleep apnea.
What to do if you think you’re experiencing symptoms of OSA
Those who think they may suffer from a sleep-related breathing disorder should seek help from a qualified medical professional. A sleep clinician can assess the severity of the problem and, if appropriate, refer the patient to a dentist trained in the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. The dentist will properly fit and adjust an oral appliance to meet the individual patient’s needs. Follow-up visits to the sleep clinician and dentist will help monitor the patient’s progress and assess the effectiveness of the treatment.
The Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
The Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine is a professional membership organization that promotes the use and research of oral appliances and oral surgery for the treatment of sleep disordered breathing and provides training and resources for those who work directly with patients.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is a professional organization dedicated to the advancement of sleep medicine and related research. It also serves as the national accrediting body for sleep disorder centers and laboratories.
To identify a dentist in your area who is trained in the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea, go to www.dentalsleepmed.org. For a professional assessment of a sleep-related problem, visit www.sleepcenters.org to find an accredited sleep center near you.
SLEEP is a publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Practice Parameters for the Treatment of Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances: An Update for 2005
An American Academy of Sleep Medicine Report
Clete A. Kushida, MD, PhD1; Timothy I. Morgenthaler, MD2; Michael R. Littner, MD3; Cathy A. Alessi, MD4; Dennis Bailey, DDS5; Jack Coleman, Jr., MD6; Leah Friedman, PhD7; Max Hirshkowitz, PhD8; Sheldon Kapen, MD9; Milton Kramer, MD10; Teofilo Lee-Chiong, MD11; Judith Owens, MD12; Jeffrey P. Pancer, DDS13
1Stanford University Center of Excellence for Sleep Disorders, Stanford, CA; 2Mayo Sleep Disorders Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; 3VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Sepulveda, CA; 4UCLA/Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Sepul-veda, CA; 5Englewood, Colorado; 6Middle Tennessee ENT, Murfreesboro, TN; 7Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA; 8Baylor College of Medicine and VA Medical Center, Houston, TX; 9VA Medical Center and Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; 10Maimonides Medical Center, Psychiatry Department, Brooklyn, NY and New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY; 11National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Sleep Clinic, Denver, CO; 12Department of Pediatrics, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI; 13Toronto, Ontario, CN
Summary: These practice parameters are an update of the previously published recommendations regarding use of oral appliances in the treat-ment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Oral appliances (OAs) are indicated for use in patients with mild to moderate OSA who prefer them to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, or who do not respond to, are not appropriate candidates for, or who fail treatment attempts with CPAP. Until there is higher quality evidence to suggest efficacy, CPAP is indicated whenever possible for patients with severe OSA before considering OAs. Oral appliances should be fitted by qualified dental personnel who are trained and experienced in the over-all care of oral health, the temporomandibular joint, dental occlusion and associated oral structures. Follow-up polysomnography or an attended cardiorespiratory (Type 3) sleep study is needed to verify efficacy, and may be needed when symptoms of OSA worsen or recur. Patients with
OSA who are treated with oral appliances should return for follow-up of-fice visits with the dental specialist at regular intervals to monitor patient adherence, evaluate device deterioration or maladjustment, and to evalu-ate the health of the oral structures and integrity of the occlusion. Regular follow up is also needed to assess the patient for signs and symptoms of worsening OSA. Research to define patient characteristics more clearly for OA acceptance, success, and adherence is needed.
Keywords: Practice parameters; practice guidelines, standards of prac-tice, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, oral appliances, dental devices
Citation: Kushida CA; Morgenthaler TI; Littner MR et al. Practice param-eters for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliances: An Update for 2005. SLEEP 2006;29(2): 240-243.
SNORING AND OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA (OSA) ARE CAUSED IN PART BY REPETITIVE DYNAMIC OBSTRUC-TION OF THE OROPHARYNGEAL AIRWAY. There is growing epidemiological and experimental evidence that OSA, and to a lesser degree snoring, are associated with a wide variety of ad-verse health outcomes.1, 2 OSA is considered one of several po-tentially treatable contributors to systemic hypertension, and has been associated with coronary artery disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, increased motor vehicle accident rate, sleepiness, impaired quality of life, and increased mortality. Although several epidemiologic studies suggested a relationship between snoring and hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and cerebrovascular disease, most of these studies were not able to discern the difference between primary snoring and patients with a mild variant of OSA. Nevertheless, snoring represents an impor-tant social problem, and contributes to impaired sleep quality of the bed partners of those who snore.3
Oral appliances are increasingly used as a treatment modality for patients with OSA. In 1995, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM, formerly the American Sleep Disorders Asso-ciation) published a position paper on the clinical use of oral appli-ances in the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. The paper presented clinical guidelines developed by the Standards of Practice Committee (SPC) of the AASM, based upon Level V evidence (Table 1). Since publication of the practice guidelines, the scientific literature regarding oral appliances has matured and expanded significantly.4 For these reasons, the following new and
updated recommendations were developed regarding the use oral appliances in the treatment of snoring and OSA.
The purpose of this practice parameter paper is to reissue, modify and, if necessary, replace recommendations for the use of oral appliances in the treatment of snoring and OSA based on the scientific literature published since 1995. Recommendations are based on the accompanying review paper produced by a Task Force established by the Standards of Practice Committee.4 Rec-
Table 1—AASM Classification of Evidence
I Randomized well-designed trials with low alpha and beta error*
II Randomized trials with high alpha and beta error*
III Nonrandomized concurrently controlled studies
IV Nonrandomized historically controlled studies
V Case series
Adapted from Sackett5
*Alpha (type I error) refers to the probability that the null hypothesis is rejected when in fact it is true (generally acceptable at 5% or less, or p < 0.05). Beta (Type II error) refers to the probability that the null hypothesis is mistakenly accepted when in fact it is false (generally trials accept a beta error of 0.20). The estimation of Type II error is generally the result of a power analysis. The power analysis takes into account the variability and the effect size to determine if sample size is adequate to find a difference in means when it is present (Power generally acceptable at 80-90%).
SLEEP, Vol. 29, No. 2, 2006 240 Practice Parameters for Oral Appliances—AASM Practice Parameters
ommendations are targeted to the practice of adult sleep medicine. Although oral appliances are being used in treatment of children, the literature is not well developed. The paucity of evidence re-garding pediatric usage limits the scope of these recommenda-tions to adolescents and adults.
The Standards of Practice Committee of the AASM, in con-junction with specialists and other interested parties, developed these practice parameters based on the accompanying review pa-per. A Task Force of content experts was appointed by the AASM to review and grade evidence in the scientific literature regard-ing the clinical use of oral appliances in the treatment of snoring and OSA. In most cases, recommendations are based on evidence from studies published in the peer-reviewed literature.
The Board of Directors of the AASM approved these recom-mendations. All members of the AASM Standards of Practice Committee and Board of Directors completed detailed conflict-of-interest statements and were found to have no conflicts of in-terest with regard to this subject.
These practice parameters define principles of practice that should meet the needs of most patients in most situations. These guidelines should not, however, be considered inclusive of all proper methods of care or exclusive of other methods of care reasonably directed to obtaining the same results. The ultimate judgment regarding propriety of any specific care must be made by the physician, in light of the individual circumstances present-ed by the patient, available diagnostic tools, accessible treatment options, and resources.
The AASM expects these guidelines to have an impact on pro-fessional behavior, patient outcomes, and, possibly, health care costs. These practice parameters reflect the state of knowledge at the time of publication and will be reviewed, updated, and revised as new information becomes available. This parameter paper is referenced, where appropriate, using square-bracketed numbers to the relevant sections and tables in the accompany-ing review paper, or with additional references at the end of this paper. The Standards of Practice Committee’s classification of evidence for evidentiary articles is listed in Table 1. Definitions of levels of recommendations used by the AASM appear in Table 2.
The AASM appointed a Task Force in 2002 to perform a com-prehensive review of the medical literature regarding the use
Table 2—AASM Levels of Recommendations
Standard This is a generally accepted patient-care strategy, which
reflects a high degree of clinical certainty. The term stan-
dard generally implies the use of Level I Evidence,
which directly addresses the clinical issue, or over
whelming Level II Evidence.
Guideline This is a patient-care strategy, which reflects a moderate
degree of clinical certainty. The term guideline implies
the use of Level II Evidence or a consensus of Level III
Option This is a patient-care strategy, which reflects uncertain
clinical use. The term option implies either inconclusive
or conflicting evidence or conflicting expert opinion.
Adapted from Eddy6
SLEEP, Vol. 29, No. 2, 2006
of oral appliances in the treatment of snoring and OSA, and to grade the strength of evidence for each citation. The initial litera-ture search was performed in 2002 using Medline. An updated search was performed using the same search strategy to include all articles indexed in Medline prior to January 2004, and this was again repeated in July 2004. Details regarding search terms, exclusions, and methods for screening by Task Force members are provided in the review paper. 4 Two members of the Standards of Practice Committee (DIL and TIM) served as liaisons between the Standards of Practice Committee and the Task Force.
The following are recommendations of the Standards of Prac-tice Committee and the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The classification of evidence was adapted from the suggestions of Sackett (Table 1).5 Recommen-dations are given as standards, guidelines, and options, as defined in Table 2.
3.1.1 The presence or absence of OSA must be determined before initiating treatment with oral appliances to identify those patients at risk due to complications of sleep apnea and to provide a baseline to establish the effectiveness of subsequent treatment. Detailed di-agnostic criteria for OSA are available and include clinical signs, symptoms and the findings identified by polysomnography.7 The severity of sleep related respiratory problems must be established in order to make an appropriate treatment decision. (Standard)
This recommendation is the same recommendation as the rec-ommendation of the previous practice parameter paper. However, there is a higher level of evidence that severity of OSA is predic-tive of response to OAs [220.127.116.11].
3.2 Appliance Fitting
3.2.1 Oral appliances should be fitted by qualified dental personnel who are trained and experienced in the overall care of oral health, the temporomandibular joint, dental occlusion and associated oral structures. Dental management of patients with OAs should be overseen by practitioners who have undertaken serious training in sleep medicine and/or sleep related breathing disorders with fo-cused emphasis on the proper protocol for diagnosis, treatment, and follow up. (Option)
This recommendation is a modification of the recommendation of the previous practice parameter paper to specify the training of the personnel responsible for fitting the oral appliances. It is based on committee consensus [3.7].
3.2.2 Although cephalometric evaluation is not always required for patients who will use an oral appliance, appropriately trained professionals should perform these examinations when they are deemed necessary (Option).
This recommendation is the same recommendation as the rec-ommendation of the previous practice parameter paper.
3.3.1 Treatment Objectives
241 Practice Parameters for Oral Appliances—AASM Practice Parameters
18.104.22.168 For patients with primary snoring without features of OSA or upper-airway resistance syndrome, the treatment objective is to reduce the snoring to a subjectively acceptable level (Standard).
This recommendation is the same recommendation as the rec-ommendation of the previous practice parameter paper.
22.214.171.124 For patients with OSA, the desired outcome of treatment in-cludes the resolution of the clinical signs and symptoms of OSA and the normalization of the apnea-hypopnea index and oxyhemo-globin saturation (Standard).
This recommendation is the same recommendation as the rec-ommendation of the previous practice parameter paper.
3.3.2 Oral appliances are appropriate for use in patients with pri-mary snoring who do not respond to or are not appropriate candi-dates for treatment with behavioral measures such as weight loss or sleep-position change. (Guideline)
This recommendation is a modification of the recommendation of the previous practice parameter paper to exclude mild OSA patients; these latter patients are discussed in practice parameter 3.3.3. This recommendation is based on 1 level I study and 2 level V studies [3.2.3].
3.3.3 Although not as efficacious as CPAP, oral appliances are in-dicated for use in patients with mild to moderate OSA who prefer OAs to CPAP, or who do not respond to CPAP, are not appropriate candidates for CPAP, or who fail treatment attempts with CPAP or treatment with behavioral measures such as weight loss or sleep-position change. (Guideline)
This is a new recommendation. It is based on 11 level I, 3 level II, and 16 level III-V studies that used stringent criteria for defin-ing success [3.2]. In the reviewed studies, CPAP when used is rou-tinely more efficacious than OAs in reducing measures of respira-tory disturbance (AHI, oxygenation), but may be equipotent with OAs in improving subjective and objective measures of sleepi-ness. Stratification of the severity of OSA was not performed in most studies, but in patients with a mean AHI greater than 10 and less than 30, success (internally defined within each study, but considering only those with a reduction of AHI to less than or equal to 10) occurred in 52.6 ± 2.5% (mean ± SEM, range 19.0% – 81.0%). The quality of studies did not systematically affect the measured success rate (average success rate for studies of level I = 55.4%, level II = 47.7%, and level III-V = 52.3%). One level I study that categorized patients into mild, moderate, and severe OSA by initial AHI found better success rates in mild OSA (81%) than in moderate (60%) or severe (25%) OSA. Limited adherence to OA may result in less than perfect effectiveness, i.e., a patient using therapy with a successful result. OAs were found to be more effective than UPPP in 1 level I study. OAs are particularly more likely to succeed when OSA is positional and with lower BMI. Because of the inability to predict success reliably, when OAs are selected, follow up testing should be obtained to ensure treatment effectiveness.
3.3.4 Patients with severe OSA should have an initial trial of na-sal CPAP because greater effectiveness has been shown with this intervention than with the use of oral appliances. Upper airway surgery (including tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, craniofacial operations and tracheostomy) may also supersede use of oral ap-
pliances in patients for whom these operations are predicted to be highly effective in treating sleep apnea. (Guideline)
This recommendation is a modification of the recommenda-tion of the previous practice parameter paper to clarify treatment of patients with severe OSA. It is based on 1 level II study and 2 lower level studies [3.2]. Reviewed studies of patients with se-vere OSA demonstrated treatment success (variably defined) with OAs in an average of 34.3% ± 13.5% (mean ± SEM, range 17.0% – 61.0%). In 1 study that used an AHI < 20 as the “success” cri-teria, 5/9 patients were successfully treated with OAs, but this study was small. Until there is higher quality evidence to suggest efficacy, CPAP is indicated whenever possible for patients with severe OSA before considering OAs.
3.4.1 Follow-up sleep testing is not indicated for patients with pri-mary snoring.7 (Guideline)
3.4.2 To ensure satisfactory therapeutic benefit from OAs, patients with OSA should undergo polysomnography or an attended car-diorespiratory (Type 3) sleep study with the oral appliance in place after final adjustments of fit have been performed. (Guideline)
This recommendation is a modification of the recommendation of the previous practice parameter paper to generalize therapeutic evaluation to all patients with OSA, not only patients with moder-ate to severe OSA. The previous parameter recommended sleep testing only for those with moderate to severe OSA, and not for those with mild OSA. Subsequent data has shown that even rela-tively low AHI are associated with adverse health outcomes, and especially in patients with comorbid disease or risk factors, may be important.8 Since the rate of treatment success is not predict-ably high with OAs, treatment should be assessed for efficacy with objective testing. Additionally, some patients experience an increase in AHI with OA treatment. This recommendation is based on 2 level I and 5 level V studies. [3.2, 3.7.6] The reader is also referred to the recent practice parameter paper regarding indications for polysomnography.7
3.4.3 Patients with OSA who are treated with oral appliances should return for follow-up office visits with the dental specialist. Once op-timal fit is obtained and efficacy shown, dental specialist follow-up at every 6 months is recommended for the first year, and at least annually thereafter. The purpose of follow up is to monitor patient adherence, evaluate device deterioration or maladjustment, evalu-ate the health of the oral structures and integrity of the occlusion, and assess the patient for signs and symptoms of worsening OSA. Intolerance and improper use of the device are potential problems for patients using oral appliances, which require patient effort to use properly. Oral appliances may aggravate temporomandibular joint disease and may cause dental misalignment and discomfort that are unique to each device. In addition, oral appliances can be rendered ineffective by patient alteration of the device. (Option)
This recommendation is a modification of the recommendation of the previous practice parameter paper to generalize follow-up to all patients with OSA, to specify frequency of follow-up vis-
SLEEP, Vol. 29, No. 2, 2006 242 Practice Parameters for Oral Appliances—AASM Practice Parameters
its, and to expand upon the reasons for the follow-up visit. It is based upon committee consensus on factors described in the ac-companying review paper. First, adherence to OAs declines over time, and much of the drop-out has been attributed to appliance intolerance and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, issues which lie clearly in the realm of the dental specialist. Based upon the available data, the largest drop-out from OA therapy appears to occur during the first year when the median adherence averages 77%; intervention during this interval would seem likely to have the greatest impact. Secondly, changes in occlusion begin as early as 6 months. Qualified dental specialists should survey skeletal and bite changes as well as other aspects of dental health since OA appliance use is likely to be life-long. [3.5, 3.7]
3.4.4 Patients with OSA who are treated with oral appliances should return for periodic follow-up office visits with the referring clini-cian. The purpose of follow up is to assess the patient for signs and symptoms of worsening OSA. Close communication with the dental specialist is most conducive to good patient care. An objec-tive reevaluation of respiration during sleep is indicated if signs or symptoms of OSA worsen or reoccur (Option)
This recommendation is a modification of the recommendation of the previous practice parameter paper to consolidate the rea-sons for follow-up with the referring clinician into a single prac-tice parameter [3.7].
cular disease in women. Journal of the American College of Cardi-ology. 2000;35(2):308-13.
3. Beninati W, Harris CD, Herold DL, Shepard JW, Jr. The effect of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea on the sleep quality of bed partners.[see comment]. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 1999;74(10):955-8.
4. Cartwright R, Ferguson K, Rogers R, Schmidt-Nowara W. Oral ap-pliances for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea: a review. Sleep. 2005.
5. Sackett DL. Rules of evidence and clinical recommendations for the management of patients.[see comment]. Canadian Journal of Cardi-ology. 1993;9(6):487-9.
6. Eddy DM, ed. A manual for assessing health practices and designing practice policies: the explicit approach. Philadelphia, PA: American College of Physicians; 1992.
7. Kushida CA, Littner MR, Morgenthaler TI, et al. Practice parame-ters for the indications of polysomnography and related procedures: An update for 2004. Sleep. In press.
8. Shahar E, Whitney CW, Redline S, et al. Sleep-disordered breath-ing and cardiovascular disease: cross-sectional results of the Sleep Heart Health Study.[see comment]. American Journal of Respira-tory & Critical Care Medicine. 2001;163(1):19-25.
4.0 AREAS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
a) Future studies should determine and emphasize use of accepted endpoints for OA therapy of OSA.
b) Adherence data for OAs mostly relies on subjective reports. In contrast, CPAP adherence can now be routinely monitored in an objective fashion. Development of similar capabilities for OA therapy should be pursued for both research and clinical purpos-es.
c) Research to define more clearly patient characteristics for OA acceptance, success, and adherence is needed.
d) Economic assessment, focusing on both short- and long-range costs (inclusive of needed follow-up and indirect costs of OA therapy) is needed so that OA therapy can be compared with al-ternate therapies through cost and effectiveness analyses.
e) Research is needed to clarify design characteristics most ben-eficial in given patient groups, so that device selection is driven by data that are more precise.
The AASM and the SPC would like to thank Daniel I. Loube, MD for serving as a liaison to the Oral Appliances task force, Sara Seaquist and Maria DeSena for coordinating the work on this practice parameter and Richard Rosenberg, PhD for his contribu-tions to the preparation of the manuscript.
1. Shamsuzzaman AS, Gersh BJ, Somers VK. Obstructive sleep ap-nea: implications for cardiac and vascular disease.[see comment]. JAMA. 2003;290(14):1906-14.
2. Hu FB, Willett WC, Manson JE, et al. Snoring and risk of cardiovas-
SLEEP, Vol. 29, No. 2, 2006 243 Practice Parameters for Oral Appliances—AASM Practice Parameters