Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is caused by a partial or complete blockage of the upper airway, which occurs during sleep.
People with untreated OSA frequently stop breathing while sleeping – sometimes hundreds of times a night – and often for a minute or more. Episodes usually end when the individual wakes up slightly, returning to normal breathing.
One of the new and interesting theories brought up at the conference is that bruxism -- or teeth grinding -- might be caused by sleep apnea. Because they have a dry mouth from snoring and the open posture of the mouth, people need to create saliva and mucous to lubricate the airway while they sleep. Hence, they grind their teeth.
Attending conferences is one way I try to keep abreast of new developments in dentistry. The IACA is a progressive and dynamic organization that is always on the cutting edge of clinical and technological advances in Aesthetic Dentistry, so I enjoy attending their conferences.
Of course, having the conference in Orlando was very nice, too. :-)