Is It True That Sleep Apnea Causes Dental Implant Failure?

Sleep apnea has been linked to a variety of health problems, including heart disease and strokes. Now, research indicates that it may cause dental problems. In particular, sleep apnea may cause dental implant complications that can lead to implant failure. Here's more information about this issue and what you can do to protect your teeth.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Tooth Grinding

Sleep apnea in and of itself doesn't have a direct effect on tooth health. However, a symptom that commonly occurs with this disease called bruxism does damage teeth and bones significantly, resulting in tooth loss if the condition is left untreated.

Bruxism—the repetitive clenching and grinding of teeth—was linked to dental implant complications in one study involving 67 patients. Approximately 16 participants developed around 30 issues with their implants an average of 73 months after their procedures. Another study consisting of over 2,000 patients found that bruxism was a significant risk factor in dental implant failure.

Fractures in the screws and crown, decementation, and loosening of the implants were just a few of the problems people developed because of bruxism, which is the result of the repeated stress and pressure the condition places on the teeth.

As noted previously, sleep apnea isn't the direct cause of these problems. According to the National Sleep Foundation, though, approximately many  people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea also have teeth grinding issues. Thus, it's critical you discuss the issue with your dentist and healthcare provider so you can start treatment options that prevent long-term damage to your teeth and implants.

Bruxism Treatment Options

Bruxism can be treated in a number of different ways. If your bruxism is a side effect of your sleep apnea, however, getting your sleep disorder under control is probably the first place you'll want to start when tackling this issue. In addition to protecting your teeth, treating the underlying cause will lower your risk of developing other health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

Since obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by the collapse of oral tissues into the airway, your healthcare provider may suggest using a CPAP machine at night when you sleep. This machine uses air pressure to stop oral tissues from blocking the airway. Sometimes obstructive sleep apnea is the result of excess tissue in the back of the mouth or throat or problems with the tonsils, in which case your dentist may recommend undergoing oral surgery to remove the problematic parts so you can breathe normally.

Instances of sleep apnea can also be reduced through simple lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, treating allergies, sleeping on your side, and stopping smoking.

Another way to deal with bruxism is to wear a mouth guard at night. Although this doesn't stop you from grinding or clenching your teeth, it will minimize the mechanical damage to oral structures. Your dentist can recommend an over-the-counter product or custom fit a mouth guard for your specific needs.

If you're still having problems with bruxism even after treating your sleep apnea, there may be other issues contributing to the problem. For instance, this condition has been linked to anxiety and stress. Thus, if you suffer from anxiety or have a high-stress lifestyle, finding ways to keep yourself calm and relaxed can go a long way towards reducing instances of teeth grinding at night. Reducing or eliminating your consumption caffeine, smoking, energy drinks, and other stimulants (particularly before bed) can also be helpful.

To learn more about this particular issue or for assistance with fixing the problem and ensuring you have your dental implants for as long as possible, contact a facility like Oral Surgery Specialists of Austin.

About Me

Preparing for a Stem Cell Transplant

About six months ago, my wonderful father discovered he had an aggressive form of lymphoma. At this time, his doctor informed him he would need to undergo six rounds of chemotherapy. My dad’s physician also told him he would need to have a stem cell transplant immediately after he completed the chemotherapy. To prepare for the stem cell transplant, my father was put on a special diet. His doctor recommended he eat a lot of protein. My dad was also told to drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. On this blog, I hope you will learn smart tips to help you or one of your loved ones prepare for a stem cell transplant. Enjoy!


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