• Foundation for Airway Health

Response to White Paper On Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Orthodontics

The Foundation for Airway Health applauds the American Association of Orthodontists for the publication of their White Paper on Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Orthodontics as amended on March 15, 2019. The White Paper provides a 10-point recommendation on the important role of orthodontists to identify, treat and manage patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

At the Foundation for Airway Health, our mission is to help the public realize their maximum potential by championing the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of airway- related disorders. We are accomplishing our mission through a partnership of the public, healthcare practitioners, concerned corporations and allied organizations.

We are pleased to see that the AAO will now join the list of organizations promoting screening for airway/sleep issues. The AAO White Paper is in line with the American Dental Association policy statement that was published on October 27, 2017, encouraging all dentists to screen patients for sleep disorders and to treat those patients with oral appliances as may be indicated.

The White Paper provides an Action Plan that encourages further research on the subjects of early intervention, identification of craniofacial variables that may contribute to obstructive sleep apnea and seeks to find answers if obstructive sleep apnea in children may progress through adulthood, among other research recommendations. The efforts by the American Association of Orthodontics to address obstructive sleep apnea are a great first step in understanding the various types of issues that may be a result of compromised upper airway disorders.

The Foundation for Airway Health encourages all organized dental organizations to broaden their research and efforts to include other known sleep-related breathing disorders, such as snoring and upper-airway resistance syndrome since these conditions may be greatly impacted by the condition of the craniofacial complex, the upper airway and associated adjunct structures, to include the oral cavity and the tongue. The Foundation will continue to embrace all those who recognize that airway/sleep disorders are part of a larger public health issue that can be adequately addressed only through collaboration among all the disciplines that screen, diagnose or treat airway disorders.

The Foundation for Airway Health encourages further research and education programs that provide clinicians practical screening and treatment protocols to allow for early intervention therapies and long-term management of patients with these conditions.

As the established leading organization in airway management, we welcome all organized dental organizations to collaborate with the Foundation for Airway Health in research projects and in establishing standards of care.



Mary E. Burns, DMD, MS, MA

Rita Y. Chuang, DDS

Marianna Evans, DDS, MS

William Hang, DDS, MS

William E. Harrell, Jr., DMD

Howard Hindin, DDS

Duane Grummons, DDS, MSD

Barry Raphael, DMD

Joseph Yousefian, DDS, MS

Sal Rodas, Chair

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