The association between dental arch morphology and the aetiology of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is not clear. To compare dental arch morphology in 108 Asian adults with and without ''OSA, overnight'' hospital polysomnography was performed, and sleep reports were obtained for all subjects. Standardized digital photographs were also taken of the subjects' upper and lower study models. Using 25 homologous landmarks, mean OSA and control dental arch configurations were computed, and subjected to finite-element morphometry (FEM), t-tests and principal components analysis (PCA). Mean upper and lower OSA dental arch morphologies were statistically different from respective Control upper and lower arch morphologies (P < 0.05). FEM of the upper arch indicated that the mean OSA configuration was 7-11% narrower in the transverse plane in the incisor and canine regions when compared with the control configuration, and inter-landmark analysis (ILA) confirmed this finding. FEM for the lower arch indicated that the mean OSA configuration was 10-11% narrower in the antero-posterior plane in the pre-molar and molar regions, and confirmed by ILA. Using PCA, significant differences were also found between the two groups in the lower arch using the first two eigenvalues, which accounted for 90% of the total shape change (P < 0.001). Supporting their role as aetiological factors, size and shape differences in dental arch morphology are found in patients with OSA.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.