Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a clinical entity caused by recurrent obstructive episodes of the upper respiratory tract during sleep.
Throughout evolution, a series of changes in the hominid have occurred and these are the main cause for this pathology: dorsal movement of the facial skeleton, the descent of the larynx, the presence of a floating hyoid, angulation of the skull base, equitable relationship within the supralaryngeal segments, a compression of the pharynx, anterior migration of the occipital foramen and the loss of the epiglottis-soft palate overlap.
One of the factors which has most influenced over the “selective pressure” to accomplish those changes is oral language.
This article deals with the development of the human pharynx. Those characteristics which make it different from that of other species and its relationship with an exclusively human matter: OSAS.
(Rev Esp Ortod. 2012;42(3):132-135)