Purpose: Since both obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and periodontitis are associated with systemic inflammation and cardiovascular morbidity, we questioned whether there may be an association between these two disorders.
Materials and methods: A standard periodontal examination was undertaken in a group of 66 (54 men and 12 women) treatment-naïve patients diagnosed with OSA [apnoea-hypopnoea index (AHI) >5/h] to derive a number of quantitative variables which could then be used to determine the prevalence of periodontitis in a group of patients.
Results: The prevalence of periodontitis in our study group was 77-79%, depending on the definition used. This was almost four times that of historical controls derived from a recent national survey. When sleep-related variables were compared against periodontal variables, significant correlations were found between periodontal clinical attachment level and total sleep time.
Conclusion: Our pilot study suggests that OSA is associated with periodontitis. Further research is needed to elucidate the nature of this association.