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Friday, December 11, 2009

PERIODONTAL DISEASE, CHRONIC PAIN AND SLEEP DISRUPTION

An abstract in SLEEP, Volume 32, Abstract Supplement, 2009 looks at periodontal disease, an extremely common and chronic inflamatory condition and its effect in animal studies on sleep. The conclusion of the authors was "Our results suggest that PD resulted in marked sleep disruption, especially in non-REM sleep, probably due to the development of orofacial pain."

This is probably a direct result of nociceptive stimulation of the trigeminal nerve causing centrl sensitization. While this was only an experimental animal study on rats it showed reductions in sleep efficiency, non-REM time and increases in arousals.

This is scary data considering the majority of americans have some level of periodontal disease (PD). PD has been implicated in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, increased infections and many other disorders. It has been assumed that this was the result of inflamatory changes in the bloodsteam and body fluids but this study could actually suggest those changes are neurological due to nociception within the trigeminal nervous system.

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posted by Dr Shapira at 6:57 PM

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