Dental sleep medicine

Unveiling the physiological mechanisms involved in dental sleep disorders.

Research area to investigate

Dental sleep medicine has evolved rapidly during  the last decade, and the number of dentists offering this type of treatment to their patients continues to grow. Nevertheless, despite the significant contribution that the dental community offers to help patients with dental sleep medicine problems, many questions remain to be answered that will make the interventions provided by the dentist even more effective and efficient.

Dental sleep medicine was initially understood to be devoted to managing patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea but it  has been proposed to be reconsidered . Now, dental sleep medicine includes all the different sleep problems that may have an orofacial implication and, at the same time, all the orofacial problems that may have some sleep implications. This new conceptualization has broadened the areas of action of Dental Sleep Medicine, which now includes bruxism, orofacial pain, mandibular movement disorders, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, obstructive sleep apnea, and oral moistening disorders. The physiology underlying the orofacial consequences and triggers related to sleep has many loose ends needed to be clarified. A part of our group's research focused on orofacial pain, bruxism, obstructive sleep apnea, and cortical motor excitability.

Our group would like to use all the expertise generated in this field to create new knowledge that may help to unveil the mechanisms involved in dental sleep disorders and better the lives of millions of people. In the area of obstructive sleep apnea, we are interested in unveiling the physiological mechanisms involved in the different orofacial management interventions. We have published that in the case of mandibular advancement devices as management for obstructive sleep apnea, it is more than a mechanical intervention  that maybe involves brain motor control plasticity in its physiology. We at the Section for Orofacial Pain and Jaw Function have the strength and expertise needed to contribute to understanding the physiology that may help optimize the effectiveness of different orofacial interventions. We believe that our group research background will be the perfect environment to nurture the development of an early research career of a PhD willing to bring his/hers expertise in dental sleep medicine for a postdoc project that will generate a powerful synergy that will help us to contribute to the field of Dental Sleep Medicine.

Our new MSCA Postdoctoral Fellow should have these skills

We are looking for a PhD researcher in his/her early career in dental sleep medicine. The applicant will be actively involved in the application for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Postdoctoral Fellowship.

The applicant will be willing to bring a postdoc research project idea in dental sleep medicine. The research protocol will be further developed together with our team.

Host group expertise

Our research group expertise is specialized in orofacial neuroscience. We aim to understand the complex trigeminal system and to limit the negative consequences of orofacial functional impairments for the individual and society. We study the management of pain and rehabilitation of lost or compromised orofacial function. We have developed many skills related to experimental orofacial pain, headaches, temporomandibular disorders, bruxism, sleep apnea, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Host department

Host supervisor

Are you interested?

Send your resume and a short description of your motivation for this project to the host supervisor before 31 March 2023.

The application process

Provisional timeline

  • 31 March 2023: Deadline for international postdocs’ enquiries concerning the published project description.
  • Mid-April 2023: The supervisor selects an applicant. 
  • 2 May 2023: Online workshop with writing consultants - supervisor and applicant start to write an application together.
  • June-July 2023: Online meeting between writing consultants, the supervisor and the applicant.
  • Mid-September 2023: EU deadline for applications to the MSCA programme. 
  • February 2024: The European Commission announces the recipients of the MSCA grants, with start in summer 2024.