Investigating the association between obstructive sleep apnea and periodontitis

Weiqiang Loke, Thomas B Girvan, Paul Ingmundson, Ronald G Verrett, John Schoolfield, Brian L. Mealey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder characterized by disruptions of normal sleep architecture. Chronic periodontitis is a chronic disease of the periodontium that elicits a general inflammatory response to local dental plaque. It has been suggested that periodontal disease may increase in severity with increasingly severe OSA because both disease entities share common inflammatory pathways, acting synergistically to alter the host response. The aim of this study is to analyze the association between severity of OSA and the prevalence/severity of periodontitis. Methods: One hundred patients from a large veterans administration sleep study center (n = 26 normal, n = 21 mild, n = 19 moderate, n = 34 severe) diagnosed with an overnight polysomnogram underwent a comprehensive periodontal examination. Periodontal parameters measured included the following: 1) mean periodontal probing depth (PD); 2) clinical attachment level (CAL); 3) gingival recession; and 4) percentage of sites with bleeding on probing, plaque, PD ≥5 mm, and CAL ≥3 mm. Results: Seventy-three percent of the sampled population had moderate/severe periodontal disease. χ2 analyses revealed no significant differences in the prevalence of periodontal disease between the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) groups, with a negligible Spearman correlation coefficient of 0.246 between AHI severity and periodontal disease severity categories. Analysis of covariance indicated a significant association between AHI severity categories and percentage of sites with plaque, after adjusting for age. Multivariable logistic regression analysis predicting moderate/severe periodontitis with AHI score, age, and smoking status indicated a significant association with age (P = 0.028) but no significant association with the other two predictors. Conclusion: OSA was not significantly associated with the prevalence of moderate/severe periodontitis and the periodontal parameters examined, except percentage plaque.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-243
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic periodontitis
  • Sleep apnea, obstructive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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