Your Patients Want to Know: Is Sleep Apnea Causing their Morning Headaches?

You are accustomed to consulting with patients about the association of TMD with craniofacial pain, but the link to sleep disorders should now be on your radar. Your patients want to know that you can help them sort out whether their frequently occurring headaches are the result of TMD, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a combination of the two, and/or other comorbidities.

Because research evidence suggests up to 50% of individuals suffering from morning headaches have OSA, every dentist likely has some sufferers they can detect, educate, diagnose, and refer or treat. If you are not already an expert in Dental Sleep Medicine, The Pankey Institute’s immersive Dental Sleep Medicine course is one of the best in the country.

A preclinical interview that includes questions about headaches will get you started with a co-discovery diagnosis for OSA related headaches and set you and your patient on the path for the most appropriate diagnostic testing and treatment.

Deborah Bush, MA

Deb Bush was the Communications Manager for The Pankey Institute from 1997 to 2003, and a consulting marketing and educational writer for the Institute through 2009. After completing graduate school at the University of Michigan, in 1976, she began a long career in technical writing and knowledge translation in the fields of environmental impact, econometrics and finance, CAD/CAM engineering, accounting and taxation, medicine and dentistry. Currently, she is the Director of Content for Patient Prism Academy (at and will always be a raving fan of The Pankey Institute.

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