While going through the treatment options for your sleep apnea, you must have come across the term “oral appliance therapy”.
Oral appliance therapy?
You must be wondering if there is any device or tool to treat your sleep apnea. Yeah, you are right. Oral appliance therapy involves an oral appliance that is inserted over the teeth like an orthodontic retainer while you sleep. It works by supporting your jaw in a forward position to keep your airway open.
Also known as mandibular advancement devices, oral apnea helps manage sleep apnea. These oral appliances look like a mouth guard and are often customized to your mouth. They help you improve your sleep, restore your alertness, and revitalize your health.
In this blog, we will learn how sleep apnea oral appliances work, who is the right candidate for them, benefits of oral appliances and many more. Let’s get started.
How Do Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances Work?
They work by repositioning the jaw and tongue to keep the airways open during sleep. This helps prevent the collapse of the soft tissue in the throat, which is responsible for snoring and sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea oral devices are comfortable and easy to use. Also, they are relatively inexpensive in contrast to other sleep apnea treatments. Moreover, they are portable and comfortable to use during traveling.
However, it is recommended to consult with a sleep specialist first. They can help you determine whether oral appliances for sleep apnea are right for you.
The Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) is a dental appliance that treats mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring. It looks like a mouth guard, snaps over both upper and lower teeth, then pushes the lower jaw forward to open the airway.
MADs are the primary treatment choice for those with mild to moderate OSA who cannot tolerate continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). They enlarge the upper airway and decrease collapsibility during sleep by inducing functional mandibular advancement.
A tongue retainer or tongue stabilizing device (TSD) works by holding the tongue forward, thereby improving breathing and minimizing waking up throughout the night due to low oxygen levels.
Mandibular Advancement Splint:
Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) are dental devices that fit over your teeth and push your lower jaw forward. This helps to keep your airway open while you sleep, reducing the risk of snoring and sleep apnea. MAS is often used to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Mandibular Repositioning Appliances (MRA):
Mandibular Repositioning Appliances (MRA) are similar to MAS, but they also reposition the tongue to further improve airflow. MRA is more effective than MAS for people with moderate to severe sleep apnea.
Daytime-Nighttime Appliance (DNA):
Daytime-Nighttime Appliance (DNA) is a removable device that can be used during the day or at night to treat snoring and sleep apnea. It combines the features of MAS and TRD to provide 24-hour treatment.
Mandibular Repositioning Nighttime Appliance (mRNA):
Mandibular Repositioning Nighttime Appliance (mRNA) is a type of MRA specifically designed for nighttime use. It repositions the jaw and tongue to improve breathing and reduce snoring during sleep. It is effective for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Are You the Right Candidate for the Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances?
While a dentist can tell if sleep apnea oral appliances are suitable for you, here are some factors to determine if these sleep apnea oral appliances are right for you:
- Sleep apnea oral appliances are typically used to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea. If you have severe sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine instead.
- One of the main requirements for sleep apnea oral appliance therapy is good dental health. The device is worn in your mouth while you sleep, so you need to have healthy teeth and gums to ensure a good fit and avoid any damage to your teeth.
- Another important factor is your willingness and ability to wear the device as directed. A sleep apnea oral appliance is only effective if it is worn consistently and properly. You should be willing to commit to using the device every night, and be able to adjust it as needed for maximum effectiveness.
- You may also be a good candidate for sleep apnea oral appliance therapy if you have trouble tolerating a CPAP machine. Some people find the mask uncomfortable or claustrophobic, and have trouble sleeping with the machine on. A sleep apnea oral appliance may be a more comfortable and practical alternative.
- Finally, it’s important to consult with a qualified dental or medical professional to determine if a sleep apnea oral appliance is right for you. They can assess your individual needs and help you choose the best treatment option for your specific case.
(A Takeaway: A good candidate for sleep apnea oral appliance therapy is someone with mild to moderate sleep apnea, good dental health, a willingness to wear the device as directed, and difficulty tolerating a CPAP machine.)
It is better to treat sleep apnea early as it could adversely affect your health if left untreated. For those who are suffering from mild to moderate symptoms, Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances can be worth it for you.
If you are looking for the best sleep apnea clinic or Sedation Dentist in Vernon, BC, Aberdeen Dental Centre is the right choice.