We have known that there is a link between sleep apnea and other health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes. In another study, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
This study looked at the effects of oral appliance therapy on a broad spectrum of cardiovascular outcomes. Researchers looked at various literature up to December 31, 2016. They found 25 relevant full-text articles with 16 considered methodologically sufficient.
What was found?
From the pooled data, it showed a significant reduction in daytime systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to baseline. However, no significant reductions in heart rate, except for daytime heart rate when compared to inactive/placebo oral appliance therapy.
Compared to CPAP therapy, treatment was equally effective in reducing blood pressure. Another observational study showed that oral appliance therapy was as effective as CPAP in reducing cardiovascular death.
Through this we can determine that oral appliance therapy may lead to a reduction in long-term cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in OSA patients. However, further research will be needed to continue to advance this.