How Periodontitis and Sleep Apnea May be Connected
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that is characterized by loud snoring and periodic lapses in breathing during sleep. People with sleep apnea are at an increased risk of diabetes, depression, obesity, and heart disease. According to a recent study, they can also be at a higher risk of periodontal disease.
The Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study, which was published in the “Journal of Periodontal Research,” included nearly 700 men between 47 and 77 years old. About half of them had sleep apnea. Nearly a fifth of the study participants had periodontal disease, and sixty percent of those participants also suffered from sleep apnea. Those who had sleep apnea but did not have periodontal disease still had periodontal symptoms, including periodontal pockets, swollen gums, and inflammation. The risk of periodontal disease in people with sleep apnea was two and a half times higher than in those without sleep apnea.
Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that strikes the gums and supporting tissues of the teeth. As the disease progresses, the gums shrink, pull away from teeth, and recede. Furthermore, the teeth can become loose and unstable in their sockets. Periodontal surgery can be needed to preserve dental health and halt the progression of the infection. Sleep apnea may increase the risk of periodontal disease by drying the mouth during sleep, encouraging the growth of oral bacteria.
Proper treatment of sleep apnea can significantly reduce the risk of associated complications, including periodontal disease. Call Dr. Frame today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our team.
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