How Sleep Apnea May Cause Complications With Dental Implants
October 31, 2022

How Sleep Apnea May Cause Complications With Dental Implants

If you snore, it’s likely you could be clenching or grinding your teeth as well. Does someone that you live with tell you that you snore?  “Sawing logs” as some might say, is common among many adults. Although some people are more susceptible than others. According to Hopkins Medicine, 45% of adults snore occasionally and 25% regularly. Most likely to snore are: overweight, middle-aged or older men, or a postmenopausal women. Snoring can also be caused by muscle weakness and diseases in the upper extremities or nervous system.  

Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is the repeated stopping and starting of breathing during sleep. This can happen several times a night for many people. These brief episodes of breathing cessation can occur up to 400 times per night, and last for 10 to 30 seconds at a time.  Needless to say, this is less than optimal for your body’s overall health. People affected by sleep apnea typically sleep with their mouths open, drying out the mouth (xerostomia), by reducing salivary flow. Since salivary flow is a natural protective mechanism the body is equipped with, lessening it can lead to ill-favored circumstances. Saliva is necessary to rinse soft food debris and plaque away, and also acts as a lubricant when chewing food, aiding in the digestion process. With increased plaque from decreased saliva, comes increased inflammation, and recurring cavities. Sleep apnea can increase blood pressure risk, weight gain, and daytime fatigue. It can also contribute to an increase in occurrences of abnormal heartbeats, stroke, and atrial fibrillation (when the heart is beating very fast and can lead to blood clots).

Sleep Apnea & Your Teeth

So, if sleep apnea can do all of these things to the human body, it’s no wonder the degree of damage it can do to your mouth. Healthy teeth and supporting structures such as gingiva and bone, need oxygenated blood and adequate salivary flow  for healing and health. Sleep apnea can be treated, thereby preventing complications not only with body health, but with teeth also, including dental implants. Implants have screws that are surgically placed in the maxilla or mandible with a crown attached to the top. The constant pressure exerted from clenching/grinding can loosen the bony matrix connection that occurs between implant and bone. With this strong bony matrix, the connection is lost and tooth/implant mobility will result.

Unhealthy Gums

Individuals who snore or mouth breathe, oftentimes experience remarkable amounts of reddened gums or gingivitis, along with bleeding. The bone, connective tissue, and gum surrounding a tooth are essential in supporting tooth health. When any of these structures are threatened by inflammation, attachment loss of bone and gum can ensue, leading to tooth loss.  

What Can You Do?

If you are experiencing sleep disruption due to snoring, don’t turn to your doctor, seek out a trusted dental professional.  Snorers in or around Novi, MI have someone to smile about! Dr. Ely and her staff at Novi Oaks Dental really care about their patients’ oral health and body health needs. Dr. Ely has credentials from the Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, and is a Diplomate of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy. She is also on staff with the St. John Providence Health System. To help combat the snoring, this reputable team uses state-of-the-art technology to construct individual snore guards, or mouth guard for teeth grinding. 


Snoring is dangerous and detrimental to oral health. Clenching and grinding can cause inflammation and irritation to the roots of your teeth by putting undue stress and pressure on them while you sleep.  Say goodbye to the snore and suffer no more. Call or click here to make an appointment or to learn more about CPAP alternatives at Novi Oaks Dental and be on your way to a restful sleep.