Northstar Dental Care Professional Talks About the Correlation Between Dentures and Sleep Apnea

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A recent study revealed the link between the use of dentures and sleep apnea.

 

According to a recently published study, people who wear dentures may be at risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea and should be more closely monitored by their dentist.

Dentists explained that the risk of obstructive sleep apnea in denture wearers is from having their upper airway constantly ‘plugged up.’ People with edentulism suffer from more than just poor dental-facial aesthetics. They have a higher chance of developing sleep apnea, and this condition is not simply about snoring.

“More than 30% of edentulous patients may have clinically significant obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a potentially life-threatening condition. The researchers looked at data collected about 238 denture wearers. They concluded from their findings:

“Further investigation is needed to clarify whether and how oral appliance therapy might contribute to the treatment of patients with obstructive sleep apnea among edentulous people.”

Studies have shown that approximately 30 percent of edentulous adults 40 years old or older suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea, compared with just 5 percent of those who do not wear dentures.

The study also showed that people under the age of 80 did not have an increase in obstructive sleep apnea when they went from having teeth to wearing dentures. However, people over the age of 80 were more than six times more likely to develop the condition if they wore dentures than those who still had natural teeth.

“This study shows that there is a definite correlation between dentures and sleep apnea in the older population,” a dentist in private practice said.

The findings are important because sleep apnea increases the risk of serious health problems, including heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes. What is more, it can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue. The study’s authors noted a clear need for further research on oral appliance therapy as a possible treatment option to help those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea who need Northstar dental care.

“We must get this information out, so people know the risks of being edentulous and what to expect. Sleep apnea is serious, and people need to be checked,” a dentist said.

There is no single test that can show if someone has sleep apnea. Still, oral appliance therapy is another possible treatment option for edentulous with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

How does this affect dentists?

Dentists in Northstar dental care should educate their edentulous patients about this correlation, and they should be tested for sleep apnea. Dentists are one of the few health care professionals that can identify these patients at risk.

Just because someone wears dentures does not necessarily mean they have obstructive sleep apnea, but it is something to be aware of. If the dentist suspects their patient may have obstructive sleep apnea, they can refer them to a medical doctor for further testing.