Is there an association between obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and periodontal inflammation?

This research was originally published in 2016 by N. Nizam, O. K. Basoglu, M. S. Tasbakan, D. F. Lappin & N. Buduneli. 

We have curated this article as a reference point for The Larkin Protocol.



The aim of this study is to assess salivary, serum biomarkers, and subgingival bacteria as putative candidates in the potential association between obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and periodontal disease.

Materials and methods

Fifty-two patients were grouped according to the severity of OSAS: 13 participants served as controls, 17 patients had mild-to-moderate OSAS, and 22 severe OSAS. Serum, saliva, and subgingival plaque samples were collected, and clinical periodontal parameters were recorded. Salivary, serum concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor (TNF-α), osteoprotegerin, soluble Receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (sRANKL), and apelin were analysed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Bacterial counts were determined by real-time QPCR on plaque microbial DNA preparations.


There was a significant change in the composition of microbes in plaque particularly in severe OSAS samples (p < 0.01). Statistical analyses indicated significantly higher salivary IL-6 levels in both OSAS groups compared to controls (p < 0.05). Salivary apelin levels were significantly higher in the severe OSAS group compared to the control group. Serum levels of these biomarkers and salivary osteoprotegerin, sRANKL levels were similar in the study groups. The incidence and duration of apnea positively correlated with clinical periodontal parameters (p < 0.05).


OSAS appeared to alter the tested bacteria in plaque, correlate with increasing periodontal disease severity, have additive effect on salivary IL-6.

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