Sleep disorders and oral health: a cross-sectional study

Clin Oral Investig. 2017 May;21(4):975-983. doi: 10.1007/s00784-016-1851-y. Epub 2016 May 13.


Objectives: Sleep disorders (SDs), particularly sleep deprivation, may alter the immune system and induce systemic inflammation. Recent evidence supports an association between SDs and periodontal diseases. This cross-sectional epidemiological study aims to compare oral health variables, such as the amount of plaque/calculus, gingival inflammation, and masticatory function, in individuals with and without SDs.

Materials and methods: The study population consisted in a French cohort of individuals who underwent medical and oral examinations between 2012 and 2013. Multivariate logistic regression and general linear models were used for group comparisons.

Results: Over a total of 29,870 individuals, 11,185 (37.4 %) reported to suffer from SDs on a regular basis. Compared to individuals without SDs, SD individuals were older (mean age 44.2 vs. 45.3 years; p < 0.0001), prevalently female (38.6 vs. 52.1 %; p < 0.0001), and with higher BMI (25.3 vs. 25.7; p < 0.0001). Moreover, SD individuals displayed a significantly higher prevalence of comorbidities, higher level of gingival inflammation (adjusted odds ratio 1.22 [95 % confidence interval 1.13-1.32]), and lower masticatory function (1.45 [1.33-1.58]). Short sleepers (<6 h of sleep/night) were found to be at an increased risk of gingival inflammation (1.25 [1.1-1.4]). SD individuals with moderate-to-high gingival inflammation showed a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease (1.39 [1.04-1.84]) compared to SD individuals with low or no gingival inflammation.

Conclusions: Individuals with self-report SDs are at increased risk of gingival inflammation. The coexistence of SDs and gingival inflammation is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Clinical relevance: These findings provide evidence for an association between SDs and gingival inflammation and support further clinical and experimental studies.

Keywords: Cardiovascular risk; Gingival inflammation; Oral health; Periodontal disease; Sleep disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Diseases / complications*
  • Mouth Diseases / epidemiology
  • Oral Health*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires