Sleep Apnea Can Lead To Gum Disease If Left Untreated

sleep anea, gum diseaseObstructive sleep could have a detrimental impact on your oral health. The Journal of Dental and Oral Health, which reviewed several studies in 2015, concluded that sleep apnea — a common sleep disorder that affects a person’s breathing during sleep — could increase the risk of periodontitis, a gum infection that damages the teeth’s bone and soft tissue. This condition causes the gums to swell up, bleed and even recede.

1. What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea affects 22 million Americans, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association, and 80 percent of moderate and severe cases have yet to be diagnosed. This condition causes your airway to become blocked and reduces the amount of air that reaches your lungs. People who suffer from sleep apnea may snore loudly, wake up with a sore throat, have a restless night’s sleep and lack energy during the day.

2. Sleep Apnea and Gum Disease

The Journal of Dental and Oral Health reviewed Korean research, where 460 men and 227 women aged between 47 and 77 were studied for 13 months. Participants with obstructive sleep apnea were positively associated with periodontitis after health-screening and periodontal examinations.

Other research has also found a correlation between sleep apnea and gum disease. One study showed a link between people with sleep apnea and tooth grinding, something that could lead to swollen gums becoming even more inflamed.

Sleep apnea also encourages bacteria growth in a person’s mouth during sleep, which causes plaque to reside on the teeth. If left untreated, this can lead to gingivitis — a mild form of gum disease — or in more severe cases, periodontal disease, where teeth can become loose.

3. The Solution

There are a number of treatments for people with sleep apnea. These include both surgical and non-surgical options.  CPAP machines a non-surgical option, deliver pressurized oxygen to reduce obstruction of the airway during sleep.  Surgical options open the airway to relieve the obstruction.  Mamaroneck Oral Surgery can address the surgical option that best corrects the individual’s condition.

If you are suffering from sleep apnea, contact Dr. Elias and Dr. Paonessa to schedule a consultation, 914-873-0045.

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