Can Tooth Extractions Cause Sleep Apnea?

At least every few months, I see patients who tell me that after multiple teeth were removed, their health went downhill many months later. I also see many patients with very small mouths who have severe debilitating fatigue and brain fog. Not too surprisingly, they have had 4 to 8 or more extractions when younger. 

Dental extractions are sometimes recommended as standard of care in certain patients who need braces for crooked teeth. As I’ve mentioned before, modern humans have crooked teeth due to our shrinking jaws, leaving less space for our teeth. (Here’s an interview I gave for an orthodontist about the reasons for malocclusion/crooked teeth). So if you take out teeth in a person with a small mouth, will that make the mouth even smaller? And if so, can that cause obstructive sleep apnea?

There are a number of websites that deny that dental extractions can cause sleep apnea, and others that state that their symptoms began after extractions. As you can imagine, this can be a very contentious topic.

I just came back from a very informative conference on orthodontics and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) at the University of Michigan’s Moyers Symposium. One topic that was discussed was the following: Do dental extractions cause sleep apnea?

The answer from the speaker was a clear no. So I went back to the reference that was cited, all well as numerous other studies on this topic. What I found was very interesting….

This particular study was a retrospective electronic health records review comparing 2792 people with 1 missing premolar in each quadrant with the same number of people without any missing teeth. Of the people without missing premolars, 9.56% had OSA (based on documented sleep studies), whereas 10.71% of those with 4 missing teeth had OSA. There was no statistical significance between the two groups.  They concluded, “The absence of four premolars (one from each quadrant), and therefore a presumed indicator of past “extraction orthodontic treatment,” is not supported as a significant factor in the cause of OSA.”

The authors cite some limitation of this study. First, it’s a retrospective study with all the inherent biases that can affect retrospective (after the fact) studies. Two, it’s estimated that 80 to 90% of people with OSA are not diagnosed. If this is the case, only 10 to 20% of people with OSA were ever picked up in people who had dental extractions. Lastly, missing premolars can result from other causes, such as decay, nongrowth, trauma, or gum disease. It’s also important to note that there was no mention of  timing of OSA or symptoms beginning after extractions.

A handful of radiologic imaging studies found conflicting results. Two studies found that while certain airway dimensions were significantly smaller, airway volume did not change. In another study, subjects who had 4 bicuspid extractions with use of braces to pull back the remaining front teeth had significantly smaller airway space compared to those who underwent extractions only or no extractions. A Chinese study of 30 adults found similar results, showing smaller airway space behind the tongue and a change in the position of the hyoid bone.

In a retrospective review of over 7000 men and women from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005 to 2008, each tooth loss was associated with a 2% higher risk of having OSA based on screening questionnaires. Those who lost 5 to 8 teeth had a 25% higher chance of OSA risk compared to those who lost 1 to 4 teeth, and 36% higher risk for those that lost 9 to 31 teeth, and 61% for people with no teeth. 

In the one study that was performed prospectively using formal in-lab sleep studies, 48 patients who were edentulous (no teeth) underwent sleep studies with and without their dentures. The average AHI was 17 without dentures and 11 with dentures. Another study showed that children with multiple missing teeth had higher levels of AHI.

Many of these patients with VERY small mouths and multiple dental extractions are found not to have obstructive sleep apnea based on sleep studies, but have multiple arousals. The upper airway exam during deep sleep show severe narrowing of the space behind the soft palate or tongue. These patients are usually given various diagnoses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, or have chronic headaches, pain, light-headedness/dizziness, cold hands, or hypersensitivity issues. This is an exaggerated version upper airway resistance syndrome. One possible reason why they don’t have OSA on sleep studies is that when they obstruct, they wake up too quickly to be scored as an apnea. 

As far as I know, there are no prospective, randomized, controlled studies on the effect of extractions measured by pre and post treatment polysomnography. 

So what’s the final judgement? Based on the available evidence, there’s no definitive proof that dental extractions cause sleep apnea, but there’s no proof that it doesn’t either. I think it’s reasonable to say that the fewer the number of extractions, the better. Some extractions are necessary, and not all extractions will lead to airway changes. Also, many of these studies are radiologic studies which measure airway dimensions only, which can’t be correlated to real-life function during sleep, when you’re on your back (or side or tummy) and your muscles are relaxed. 

If you’ve had multiple teeth removed in the past, did you start snoring or develop obstructive sleep apnea months or years later? Please enter your comments in the text box below.

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44 thoughts on “Can Tooth Extractions Cause Sleep Apnea?

  1. I am a dental hygienist and myofunctional therapist with a passion for airway and breathing. Thanks so much for sharing this valuable information and all you do to provide valuable information to everyone. I will be sharing this page with my colleagues.

  2. This describes me quite well. As as young girl I started to develop a very large overbite. Kids in school would tease me calling me a rabbit because my two front teeth stuck out. When I look at photos of myself back then you can see I always looked tired and I was always lethargic. I didn’t smile much back then.

    As a teenager I had 8 teeth extracted in preparation for braces. Some of my wisdom teeth were impacted and the recovery was very painful. Not only did I have braces but I had to wear a headgear. After I had the braces removed I had a nice smile and perfectly straight teeth. I didn’t snore back then – in fact roommates in college always remarked at how quiet I slept but I slept very lightly and woke up easily and frequently.

    My teeth started to become crooked again during my 20s-30s – especially my lower teeth. All my doctors and dentists remark at how small my mouth is. My lower jaw is also receding and I’m getting an overbite again. I had a dentist who recommended that I do braces again but I haven’t. I am now 49 years old and have been diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea. I was prescribed a cpap machine but after a 1 1/2 years of use I cannot tolerate it. I may have to face a tonsillectomy but I am trying to look at other options before resorting to that.

    I just recently learned about oralfacial myofunctional therapy and have started that just 3 weeks ago. I haven’t noticed any results yet and because of my high palate and also a mild tongue tie it is hard for me to do some of the exercises. They also say that it can take a few months before I will notice any results from the therapy.

    I believe that the overbite from my youth might have been caused by incorrect tongue when swallowing/resting. This might have been solved by training tongue position instead of braces. I fear that the multiple tooth extractions plus the use of a headgear caused my mouth to be extremely small and the airway be smaller and more easily blocked by my tongue – which have led to severe OSA. I am also suffering from other health problems such as severe allergies, frequent sinus infections, high blood pressure, hormone imbalances, inability to lose weight – all of which might also be related to years of undiagnosed sleep apnea.

    Thank you for your blog. I find it very interesting. I also recently purchased your book and I look forward to gaining more education as I battle my health issues.

  3. Unfortunately, I can confirm that this does happen as I’ve experienced it myself. After removing two of my wisdom teeth, I noticed that my face felt looser, I started to notice myself drooling in the morning on my pillow. My bite also changed, I couldn’t find a comfortable position for my mouth to sit.

    Appearance wise, I noticed a change a couple of months afterward when looking at photos of myself. My chin looked weaker, my face narrower, my eyes more tired. I always had a broad smile that looked nice in pictures, but after the wisdom teeth removal, my smile wasn’t as wide. I remember smiling for a picture on my birthday that year, and someone saying ‘smile bigger’, as if I wasn’t trying hard enough. I feel like I aged several years in a matter of months after the teeth were removed and my face started to sag.

    Function wise, I think removing them gradually did lead to poorer sleep and less energy. I feel like my personality has changed to some extent as well.

    To visualize, imagine your mouth as a tent and your wisdom teeth as the support beams. Imagine kicking out those support beams – of course, the tent would end up sagging somewhat without the beams propping them up. If your mouth loses its support, there’s less room in airway to breathe which would compromise your quality of sleep.

    Apparently, there are dozens of people that have experienced this as well. Check out the comments from this question posed to a dentist. I don’t quite agree with the dentist’s response on some things, but he does acknowledge that removing wisdom teeth will change your appearance, and he informs his patients before the procedure, considering a part of the informed consent process.

  4. This is absolutely true for me. There is not one day that pass that I don’t regret getting extraction orthodontic. I had 2 upper premolars 14-24 removed by this absolute lunatic of an orthodontist. I wake up frequently, i has trouble sleeping, obstructed airways. I’m always tired. My health has been downhill since the extractions, so much so that I’m very seriously considering reversing the orthodontic treatment and get 2 implants. I know there are risks to doing that, which I’m absolutely pissed about. Would you be able to comment on the pros and cons of doing this, and the risks for me of getting implants, considering I’m in my early 30s? Thank you and have a great day!

    I also had my wisdom teeth removed as a teen.

  5. V,

    Sorry to hear. What I wrote about was a general concept that suggests that the more teeth you have removed, the more likely there may be health consequences. However, everyone will have different responses. Since everyone is different, I can’t make any specific recommendations for your particular situation without a formal in-person examination. Getting implants may sound like a good option, but there are a number of other considerations that may determine how well you’ll respond, such as how long ago the extractions were done, and the general size and shape of your mouth.

  6. I had 4 molers pulled with braces back in the 70’s. Then around 1980 had 4 wisdom teeth cut out. I have terrible sleep apnea and believe it has lots to do with my now smaller pallet size. There is no room for my tongue to relax when I sleep. In fact even when wide awake I can feel the difference when I barely stick my tongue out. Very bummed out as I haven’t been able to tolerate the CPAP machine or mouth positioner and have heard nothing but nightmare stories about uvula surgery.
    I’m at wits end, actually thought about getting a trach. :(

  7. Dr. Park,

    I removed 8 teeth (4 bicuspids and 4 wisdom) to treat an underbite. I am 11 month in treatment now and I’ve noticed some breathing and sleep problems. I can be 100% sure what’s causing it, I hope it is allergy that is causing these. I am scared now, do you know a solution to this?

    Thank you

  8. I had crooked canines as a teenager so I had teeth pulled to have the push up braces put in. When the treatment finished the teeth were better but not perfectly straight.

    In my 40s I was having pain chewing with my left molars. An x ray revealed impacted wisdom teeth & dentist advised me to remove. He also pulled out the back left molar after he took the wisdom teeth out as it was a little decayed. The wisdom teeth were deep & resulted in him cutting part of the jaw. This has resulted in a smaller jaw on one side and a very assymetrical smile with the nose looking more crooked on left side.

    I was also diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea shortly after this and use CPAP.

    Recently I also had left back bottom molar pulled out too as it was decayed & damaging molar next to it.

    In my mid 40s I went to see a cosmetic dentist to see if I could have molar implants on left side to fill out that side of the face and restore aesthetics. The cosmetic dentist said I have hardly any bone left for implant as it was removed during left side wisdom teeth surgery. The dentist says that I have to live with the assymetry and that my face will collapse further on left side as I get older as there is no molar support. He has also said that using CPAP will also cause facial changes.

    He has advised me to get Invisalign to straighten teeth properly and push the molars on the left side back a bit more to provide some support.

    However I am fearful that invisalign treatment and moving my teeth around at my age may cause more facial changes and further bone loss.

    Any advise as to whether I leave the teeth alone or straighten them all out???

  9. I can not sleep on my back without waking up out of breath. I had 6 teeth pulled out during braces.

  10. I had 4 teeth extracted for braces and have exactly the same problem that you described in your article. I can not really sleep at all, just very light sleep and wake up often in the middle of the sleep. I am also very tired during the day almost all the time. Brain fog is also true. I just can not do anything without feeling like my brain is in the cloud or something. It is affecting my studying. I am not sure what to do.

  11. Just had the last two wisdom teeth removed and suddenly now undergoing sleep study. Days after the extraction, I began to snore louder, sleepy during daytime hours, have morning headaches and feel like I am in a brain fog. It is possible I had sleep apnea before the procedure, however it is clear to me that it got a whole lot worse because it prompted me to get help within weeks after the procedure.

    More independent research needs to be done on the effects of tooth removal and OSA.

  12. I am a US Air Force veteran who had 6 extractions done at one time. Also my DDS always commented on my small throat opening/airway. I feel that the combination of the forced dental extractions and naturally small air contributed to my sleep apnea developing. Since the extractions happened I have had apnea issues, weight gain, high blood pressure and issues with leg and foot swelling. I am getting ready to pursue my VA disability claim for it. Any help or feed back would be appreciated.

  13. Hi,
    i have a receding jawline. it’s got worse as i get older (almost 40 now). i had a sleep study done at around age 31 which diagnosed me with mild to moderate OSA. about two years before the study i had all four wisdom teeth taken out. I have always suspected a link btween the removal of wisdom teeth and the onset of OSA. when i look at pictures of me in my 20s my jawline seems more even, where as now you can see a clear overbite. obviously it’s near impossible retrospectively to link the above but i can’t help but feel my apnea developed around that time.

  14. Please watch the You Tube, “the mathematics of trees| tomorrow today” because it shows how all living and non-living things that are repeatedly exposed to tension, compression, and rotational forces, grow the same curve that evenly dissipates forces, preventing failure. The mandible has the same form as a tree growing on a steep slope because it is exposed to the same forces as a tree. Wind generates the same forces on a tree as the tongue and chewing generate on the mandible and maxilla. SO, the form is the same. The implication of this is critical: extracting teeth is analogous to extracting or tearing out large branches from a living tree trunk. An infection point is created, both the mandible/maxilla and tree trunk have to completely remodel to restore the optimal curve, and this remodelling process uses up limited bone and mineral resources. Most importantly, the tongue will not accept the retracted position, and it will try to recreate the optimal curves that were shortened by extractions, but fail to do so because of an inability to enter inside the inwardly-canted, post-extraction maxilla. . The tongue, which has the tree curve will deflect the cranium forwards, causing cervical strain, and a deformed neck. The curves of spee and Wilson will be destroyed by extractions, chewing ability will be diminished, and apnea will become a problem. The mathematics of trees can be applied to mathematically prove that extractions cause a sub-optimal curve. Please observe your own mouth critically- you may already have an optimal curve everywhere in your mouth, and your orthodontist who is suggesting extractions may not have learned about the correct way to measure this curve, which is everywhere in nature because it is the BEST. You may be a young teenager, and your tongue may still be forming the optimal curve, and will naturally align your 32 teeth, optimally by 20, without orthodontics. Again, think about, envision how your tongue can form an optimal arch without orthodontics and extractions, and try tongue posture exercises.
    without orthodontics. You can chew raw carrots with your hands to feel the forces, and naturally align teeth, as all wild animals do-it’s called proprioception and you must develop it to avoid orthodontics.

  15. After 4 wisdom teeth extraction and braces using class 2 elastics to retract my upper teeth, both my health and my face have been affected dramatically.
    My experience fules my passion to help others prevent these issues and led me to become a myofunctional therapist. Thank for your great work Dr Park!

  16. I had 2 teeth extracted for braces and have exactly the same problem that you described in your article.
    As I am done with the braces treatment the gap caused by the extraction is still open.
    After 2 years I was detected with the Acid Reflux and according to Doctor I cannot sleep because of the extra acid in my stomach which comes to esophagus at night.
    After almost 6 moth of treatment, I got relief from Acid Reflux but I couldn’t sleep at all just very light sleep and wake up often in the middle of the sleep, also snoring and suddenly my breathing stops .
    This is happening almost 8-10 times at night. I am also very tired during the day almost all the time. Brain fog is also true. Headache in the morning and continuous burping through the day, sour throat and dry mouth as well.

  17. My question isn’t if extractions “cause” OSA…. but can wisdom teeth extraction make OSA worse? My son has OSA due to a low soft palate. At 3 years of age, he had a cross bite, so the dentist put in a bar to widen his upper palate and align his bite. I now think this was a mistake becaue the widening may have lowered his palate. I say ‘may’ because I don’t know for sure, but also at 3yrs of age, I noticed his breathing would stop when he was napping in the carseat. The doctors believed his tonsils were overgrown so they did a T&A. At 6 years of age, the adenoids hypertrophied/grew back…so he had to do a revision adenoidectomy. His apnea got better – less obstruction, but he still has some and, especially when he is sick/congested or experiencing allergy congestion, he has some OSA. I also noticed it’s worse when he sleeps on his right side. When it’s bad he sleeps on a triangular foam pillow to help his breathing because can not tolerate the CPA mask.

    Now he’s 17 and has all 4 wisdom teeth showing up on xrays, and the dentist wants to remove them because the teeth may cause crowding. I’m wondering if the wisdom teeth may even help him by opening up his mouth even more?

    He is also a candidate for some orthodontia work…to improve the alignment of his side teeth. And to make matters even more interesting, he has two broken front teeth, with root canals, that are still not capped because we were waiting for his mouth to fully mature, so they only have composite on them for now.

    So…I need a really good specialist to discuss all of these issues with. Is there anyway you can refer me to someone in my area? Upon your reply, I will let you know my location.
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  18. Yes I started snoring after multiple extractions. Is there away to reverse the effects ?

  19. I had 6 extractions for braces when I was in elementary school. I am 51 and have severe sleep apnea that developed years after the extractions.
    I do still have my wisdom teeth, although one is severely tilted and laying on another tooth. I also developed acid reflux, allergies, depression, and anxiety.

  20. Yes absolutely. I have no teeth at all had been removed little by little and now suffer from severe sleep apnea I have not slept well in over 5 years. I have two deviated septums as well and I’m waiting on a rhinoplasty surgery to see that will improve I breathing through my nose. I do not have dentures so I always am without teeth during the day when I sleep during the night. The effect that has on my body has been brutal I have not been able to work for some time and for years I wake up not rested. It has affected my muscles my cognitive memory my vision and I’m completely fatigued everyday.😔😔😞😞😪😪

  21. Hi Dr Park,
    Thanks for this article. I’m currently researching how to treat my severe sleep apnea with an AHI of 49 when first diagnosed at age 50, and am wondering whether the orthodontic extractions and treatment I had at age 15-17 could have caused it.

    I’m not overweight, don’t smoke or drink and have no family history of sleep apnea. I’ve also noticed research articles concluding that extractions have no impact on sleep apnea, but how many consider the impact on the development of the adolescent hard palate and nasal cavity, measuring the effect 20 or 30 years later? My concern is that the extractions used to avoid tooth crowding during my adolescent growth spurt may have reduced the normal pressure on my upper jaw to expand and grow, leading to a reduced upper palate expansion causing reduced nasal cavity size.

    I didn’t start getting symptoms from my sleep apnea until about age 40, when I was hit with a flu-like chronic fatigue illness. It wasn’t until 10 years later than I had a polysomnograph and got the sleep apnea diagnosis, because an early sleep oximetry test showed only minor oxygen desaturation. I now use a Mandibular Advancement Device; which is only marginally effective.

    I suspect the problem isn’t my tongue collapsing on the back of my throat, but an underdeveloped nasal cavity resonating and causing hypopneas. If this is in fact the cause, would it be too late to consider rapid maxillary expansion to expand my upper palate and nasal cavity?

    After playing didgeridoo consistently for 4 months I got my AHI down to 39 without the MAD fitted and 31 with it in; but my sleep is still severely fragmented an I feel exhausted all the time. I’ve been practising the oropharyngeal exercises demonstrated in for a couple of weeks but am yet to get the results I seek in terms of daytime alertness and freedom from fatigue.

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks tremendously,

  22. I had my teeth removed about two months ago and i have had steadier worsening in my sleep at night to a degree of not being able to breathe and gasping for air

  23. I’m having serious problems with fatigue. I sometimes have headaches that last for days and I have to have midday naps at only 38. I lost all my teeth at 31. This is grown worse over time. I have had tons of tests done and nothing. I saw a commercial for obstructive sleep apnea and it might be a fit. I wake up constantly and sometimes when I wake up it’s like my arms and face seem to be numb or something. Sort of like I’m not getting enough oxygen. I knew that’s what it felt like I just am now sure if OSA could feel like that.

  24. I have severe sleep apnea. I have a small mouth and large teeth. one dentist remarked how large my back teeth were. Idk what year(S) I had molars pulled but over the past few years I wondered if the osa could have been caused by removal of my teeth. I also had wisdom teeth removed. the reason I wondered this is because when I would relax my jaw, I used my tongue to feel around the spaces where my teeth are now missing (upper back teeth). I thought to myself if my big teeth were still there maybe I would not have osa. I also have a long tongue which prol doesn’t help. I wonder if I put something where my teeth used to be maybe I wouldn’t snore while I slept. I finally remembered to Google missing teeth and sleep apnea and I’m not surprised that teeth removal may be a cause of osa in some. i wish I could have those teeth put back. I don’t like using a cpap machine. sometimes I am just too tired to care to put use it by the end of the day cuz I’m so tired. it has effected my quality of life. I also have sinusitis.

  25. I had 4 molars pulled for braces in my teens in the 70’s and likely suffered from sleep apnea my adult life, diagnosed about 20 years ago. I do not fit the normal profile or stereotype for apnea; those testing me were very surprised. I have learned about dental devices for apnea, how they work, and that led me to believe that earlier jaw / bite altering caused or at least contributed to my apnea condition. I now use a cpap machine.

  26. I had 4 bicuspid extractions (braces) as well as wisdom teeth. I now suffer from UARS. I am an extremely light sleeper and wake up several times in the night. My throat often dries out. I also suffer from chronic tension headaches, daytime sleepiness, anxiety, and am starting to have some tmj issues. I feel it has also made me less attractive than I would have been. My face was ruined in the name of straight teeth. :(

  27. I went from feeling fine to developing severe sleep apnea a few months after having my impacted wisdom teeth extracted. I rarely have full apneas and mostly have hypopneas, but they prevent me from sleeping just the same. I could not find any other significant event in my life for such a drastic change. A mouth piece to move my jaw provides no noticeable change, so I’m stuck with my CPAP.

  28. I developed worse apnea after having just my wisdom teeth pulled. I had already a tiny mouth and small jaws.

  29. I had 4 molars removed in my teen years, without a proper replacement. My health went downhill after that.. now in my forties i am diagnosed with UARS and sleep apnea

  30. I got my lower wisdom teeth removed because I didn’t want my teeth crowding and I am in two minds in regards to doing this. My intention was to get orthodontic work done, but I couldn’t afford it and nobody told me the consequences of not getting it done. My bottom teeth are beautifully straight but one of my front top teeth is slightly overlapping. Anyway years down the track I ended up with a pacemaker in, and my cardiologist asked me if I snored. I wasn’t sure, but luckily for me while in hospital getting the pacemaker inserted the nurse commented on my snoring. I always sleep on my side, but I had to sleep on my back in a big chair and I can remember asking her if they had a different chair or even a bed, where I could sleep on my side. My heart went into an irregular rhythm most likely due to the sleep apnoea (note not all snoring is sleep apnoea but it is important to rule sleep apnoea in or out with a sleep test) that I had, hence the need for the pacemaker. I have done further reading and thinking about this situation and I believe because I have a narrow arch in my teeth that my airway has probably becomes blocked because of this. I’ve now had another tooth removed – one of my molars just in the last 2 weeks. Thankfully it is not too noticeable but I do have concerns that it will narrow my arch again in my mouth and cause me to snore again, even though I use a CPAP machine now. People can snore even if they are using CPAP and they need to get this sorted pronto. If they don’t have a company monitoring their machine remotely then they need to learn how to read the settings, but even as a precautionary measure people on CPAP should really learn how to read the settings, because as companies expand things may get overlooked.

  31. I am a 24 year old man from South Korea.
    When I was 17 years old, I had an extraction correction, and after a year after the extraction correction, various problems such as jaw joint disorder, pronunciation problems, and sleep apnea developed, and I am currently paying expensive money and undergoing extended treatment using an alf appliance at a hospital in Korea.

    In Korea, the extraction of 4 or 8 teeth frequently occurs only for aesthetic reasons just to eliminate overhanging.

    I think this is a problem with the worldwide dental system. As soon as these problems are known all over the world, we hope that no more side effects victims will be mass produced.

    I used a translator.

  32. I had wisdom teeth removed around age 18 and while pregnant with one of my kids I had a molar crack, need a crown, and then subsequently had that crown fall off and that ground down tooth root extracted.

    I have (likely) had depression and anxiety all my life, but in the last 10 years (since I’ve had children) I thought that my sleep deprived state was normal. But after the kids started sleeping through the night, and when they finally went to school, I realized that I couldn’t stay awake during the daytime and couldn’t fall asleep easily at night. A friend who got diagnosed with UARS and had similar symptoms to me urged me to get a sleep study. I had an AHI of 4.7, just under the cutoff of 5.0 to have OSA. One Dr dx me with UARS, the follow up Dr didn’t believe in UARS and brushed me off and told me CPAP, bye!
    I realized after a CPAP trial had ended that it actually helped a TON more than I thought, that I would go back on it, but I also went the route of getting a frenectomy when dx with a posterior tongue tie. The release likely wasn’t enough of a release and I need to go back for a 2nd one, but the first one caused neuropathy on the tip of my tongue still present 18 months later. I don’t know what to do.

  33. Jenn,

    Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you need to go back on CPAP to get your sleep improved, and then work on your other health issues. Try searching for a sleep doctor that is willing to help you with your UARS.

    Good luck.

  34. Yes, I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed when I was 24 years old, and shortly after I noticed that I was waking up several times a night snoring. I am female with a fairly small mouth, but I am 56 years old now and I am not exaggerating when I say this has completely changed my life. I have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue, fibromalgia, ibs, and severe snoring without apnea (I paid out of pocket for an overnight sleep study). I was a math teacher, although newly graduated from the university of oregon, I had lots of energy and a bright future. I just recently found some advice online about these mouth straps that are worn at night to keep the mouth closed to force nasal breathing, first deep sleep I’ve had in over 20 years!

  35. Lucy,

    Sorry to hear about your health problems … and great to hear that keeping your mouth closed helped. When you open your mouth, the tongue falls back, aggravating more obstructed breathing. Because you have a very small mouth, even small amounts of mouth opening aggravate more obstructed breathing with arousals.

  36. 4 wisdom teeth removed – badly impacted in my youth
    2 eye teeth removed – for braces
    1 lower jaw middle front tooth removed – for braces
    1 upper jaw back tooth removed – not sure why

    in my 40s i developed snoring – leading to sleep apnea – it seems that my jaw sits too far back with wisdom teeth gone allowing my tongue to block airway.

  37. After my wisdom teeth removal at age 25, I developed severe dry mouth and eyes, film in mouth and lips every morning, sleep apnea, tmj, severe fatigue, severe anxiety/fight or flight, visual snow, tinnitus, POTS, GERD, and the worst painful neck of my life. I’ve even been assessed for craniocervical instability/brainstem compression and meet most of the criteria. Been going downhill for nearly 3 years and had no previous health issues. Completely disabled now at 27 and feel like a different person.

  38. Immediately after a painful poorly attempted root canal on my right far back molar. I started getting pain at the base of my skull in the back on my head and tension on that right side and within a few weeks I was always exhausted and got the first time ever I was snoring and choking violently in my sleep. I was 27 in shape perfect health. It’s been downhill since. Perhaps the inflammation from the tooth, or infection made me sick, and the root canal created nerve damage or inflammation that narrowed the airway a it’s been like this for 5+ years done every cat scan of sinuses and MRIs I have constant pain now in my neck and jaw area, as well as the base of my skull all day every day. No one knows how to help. Multiple doctors tons of money.

  39. I am 39 years old and was diagnosed with OSA through an at-home sleep study. The doctor believes it is due to having crowded teeth and smaller airway. At the age of 16 two teeth were removed due to crowding teeth. At the age of 21 my wisdom teeth were removed during basic training in the U.

  40. Extraction/retraction of my premolar teeth led to decades of waking up choking in my sleep before I finally went to get a sleep test at a hospital and was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.

    The OSA clearly was the result of my extraction/retraction because now that I have opened up the extraction spaces, widened my palate and gained more space for my tongue, my sleep is much better and I wake up most days well-rested. Previously I have needed an entire pot of coffee to wake up in the morning. Now I don’t.

    This article has testimonies of 24 patients similar to me who ended up with tongue space constriction and breathing issues after their premolar extraction/retraction orthodontics.

    I believe that orthodontists should be obliged to disclose to patients that with premolar extraction/retraction 1) 4-8 mm of bone is lost in the alveolar ridge with each tooth extraction 2) the dental arches and the palate shrink in size and 3) the oral cavity reduces in size. These are all facts well established in orthodontic literature.

    Whether a patient’s tongue space will become compromised due to the reduced oral cavity space, and whether breathing capacity will be compromised to the degree of causing OSA may vary from patient to patient, and to date no longitudinal studies have been made of patients who have had orthodontic extractions .

    In the meantime, the patient must be alerted to the fact that their dental arches will change shape and shrink (anywhere from 2-10 mm), and that their oral cavity will be reduced in size, and that a risk for OSA may follow from these changes: as they would in any human being who has had their mouth reduced in size.

  41. My full testimony and X rays in the link that Karin Badt has shared.
    I had serial extractions and retraction at Guys Hospital, London from the age of 8-13.
    Who knows if my teeth would have been crowded: they took out all 4 premolars before my adult dentition was errupted.
    I have been in constant pain since age 10. I am now 46. I have destroyed jaw joints, a tiny mouth, a neck that wants to be at an angle of 45 degrees. This is already quite evident on the ‘after’ ceph at age 13. I sleep terribly.
    What is hard to believe is that I have had to endure a lifetime of medical appointments where my belief that my mouth and jaws are at the root of my problems has been ridiculed. There is no awareness or help within the medical establishment on the NHS here. We are living in a parallel universe where the facial, postural and other obvious damage (eg TMJs) is not linked or understood by the mainstream medical community even when it is scientifically explainable and the removal of permanent dentition during growth years and closing of space around it is seen as entirely innocuous and not mutilating at all. It is like the emperor’s new clothes.