Allen Creek Family Dentistry

The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Chronic Inflammation in Marysville

The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Chronic Inflammation in Marysville

Inflammation has a rather bad reputation, but it’s actually part of the body’s natural reaction to stressors such as a strained muscle or even a paper cut. These examples lead to acute inflammation, which is usually short lived. Problems arise with chronic inflammation that lasts for a long period of time and can cause a number of concerns. Furthermore, research now shows that sleep apnea and inflammation are connected. Read on to learn about chronic inflammation in Marysville. 

Acute Vs. Chronic Inflammation

Acute inflammation, which is the kind that is short-term, promotes healing by notifying the body to release cytokines. These are chemicals that tell your body to send immune cells, hormones and nutrients to the site that is inflamed and in need of repair. 

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is persistent and low-grade, which over the long run can become a serious problem. You may not even know that you have chronic inflammation, yet the condition could lead to the development of several diseases, including cardiovascular disease and stroke. 

Sleep Apnea and Inflammation

Studies show that sleep apnea generates a persistent, but low-level inflammatory state. Therefore, researchers have concluded that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is actually a low-grade chronic inflammatory disease. The interrupted breathing that is attributed to OSA leads to a reduced level of oxygen in the blood, which can trigger inflammation. 

Left untreated, sleep apnea promotes chronic inflammation, which is associated with other problems such as body pain, frequent infections, insomnia and fatigue. In addition, OSA is linked to diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, hypertension and allergies.  With treatment, however, someone with sleep apnea can get a better night of rest and address chronic inflammation, too.

Treating Sleep Apnea in Maryville

For a long time, the gold standard for sleep apnea therapy was a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. The problem with this device is that approximately half of patients prescribed a CPAP machine stop using it within the first year. Many find the mask uncomfortable and the continuous flow of air can be very drying. 

Fortunately, there is a viable alternative. A dentist can prescribe an oral appliance that is custom-designed for your mouth. Worn nightly, the appliance gently shifts your lower jaw slightly forward. This small movement helps to keep your airway clear for breathing. Many people with sleep apnea that could not tolerate the CPAP machine find comfortable relief with an oral appliance. 

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, then please call your dentist to schedule an evaluation. Peaceful rest and relief from the consequences of chronic inflammation may be as simple as wearing an oral appliance. 

Meet the Doctor

At Allen Creek Family Dentistry, we offer sleep apnea therapy along with the preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry necessary for beautiful smiles and healthy bodies. Do not put off an appointment with the dentist if you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea or chronic inflammation. Call our office today to schedule a visit.


6618 64th St. NE, Suite C, Marysville, WA 98270

Office Hours

MON 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

TUE 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

WED 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

THU 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

FRI 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

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Phone: (360) 651-2900