Tooth loss and obstructive sleep apnea signs and symptoms in the US population

Anne E. Sanders, Aderonke A. Akinkugbe, Gary D. Slade, Greg K. Essick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between tooth loss and signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in a representative sample of the general US population. Methods: Data were from 7305 men and women aged ≥25 years participating in the 2005–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Tooth loss, occlusal contacts, and denture use were determined by dental examination. Four cardinal OSA signs and symptoms were evaluated by questions based on American Academy of Sleep Medicine criteria. Adults with ≥2 signs/symptoms of OSA were classified at high-risk of OSA. Prevalence ratios (PR) and 95 % confidence limits (CL) from log binomial regression models estimated the strength of association between tooth loss and high-risk for OSA, adjusting for demographic characteristics, body mass index, dentures, and sleep duration. Results: Prevalence of high-risk for OSA increased 2 % for each additional lost tooth (PR = 1.02, 95 % CL, 1.01, 1.03) among adults aged 25 to 65 years. When tooth loss was modeled as an ordinal variable with 0–4 lost teeth as the referent category, adjusted prevalence of high-risk for OSA was as follows: 25 % greater in those missing 5–8 teeth (PR = 1.25, 95 % CL, 1.07, 1.46); 36 % greater in those missing 9–31 teeth (PR = 1.36, 95 % CL, 1.06, 1.73); and 61 % greater in the edentulous (PR = 1.61, 95 % CL, 1.11, 2.33). Conclusion: Tooth loss may be an independent risk factor for OSA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1102
Number of pages8
JournalSleep and Breathing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Oral health
  • Population
  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • Tooth loss


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