How much sleep may raise one's gum disease risk?

Woman Sleeping

Getting too few hours of sleep nightly may be associated with a significantly greater risk of developing periodontitis, according to a review recently published in the International Dental Journal

However, due to the cross-sectional design of most of the studies reviewed, the specific correlational needs to be substantiated with longitudinal studies, the authors wrote.

"Overall, it seems the appropriate sleep duration may be helpful to mitigate periodontitis wrote the authors, led by Qun Zhou of the department of stomatology at the Shaoxing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China (Int Dent J, March 30, 2024).

Inadequate sleep negatively impacts one's overall health, increasing the risk of conditions like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. Systemic diseases can promote periodontitis, suggesting a link between sleep duration and periodontitis, according to the review.

This review searched Embase, PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library up to November 2022, resulting in an analysis of 11 cross-sectional studies. No significant association between short- (SSD) or long-sleep duration (LSD) and periodontitis was found. However, a higher prevalence of periodontitis was observed with sleep durations of five hours or less. Notably, altering the reference category to six to eight hours in two studies affected the interpretation, according to the review.

Nevertheless, there were limitations. Relying on self-reported sleep duration introduces the possibility of reporting bias, the authors wrote.

"The present evidence showed that neither SSD nor LSD was linked to periodontitis or severe periodontitis," Zhou et al wrote. "However, a significant association was found when sleep duration ≤5 h."

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