Sleep Apnea and Periodontitis
A study in the Journal of Periodontal Research found that people with periodontitis tend to also have obstructive sleep apnea. This condition is typically associated with loud, chronic snoring, but if it is left untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Periodontal disease has also been linked to problems with the cardiovascular system. It is believed the two are linked because sleep apnea causes you to breathe with your mouth, leading to a lack of saliva, so bacteria is given the perfect environment to thrive.
The study involved 687 individuals aged 47 to 77 years old who were examined for periodontitis and sleep apnea between August 2009 and September 2010. The study found that your chances of having periodontitis increased if you were male, older, a current smoker, and breathed through the mouth during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea was associated with 84% increased risk of having periodontitis. This risk was higher in those over the age of 55 by 151%.
The study shows that there is a significant link between the two disorders. Further study is needed, but it may be possible that by treating one problem, you could be helping the other. Our dentist offers periodontal treatments to remove bacteria from the gum tissue so the risk of infection is reduced. You can also go through a sleep apnea study to get properly diagnosed, and once the severity of your condition is determined, the best treatment can be recommended.
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