Recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for mild to moderate sleep apnea and severe sleep apnea when unable to use a CPAP.
Oral devices are often called Mandibular Advancing Devices (MAD), or simply Oral Appliances (OA). These devices move the base of the tongue, the mandible (lower jaw bone), the muscles and soft tissues of the throat forward during sleep opening the airway. A small plastic splint fits over the top teeth and another over the bottom teeth. The two are connected by a small mechanism that, when in place, pushes the bottom jaw forward opening the airway.
Similar to orthodontic appliances or sports mouth guards, anti-snoring and apnea devices are worn in the mouth during sleep to treat snoring and sleep apnea. These oral appliances work by holding your lower jaw open and slightly forward during sleep. This prevents the tongue from falling back into the airway and contacting the back of the throat causing an obstruction. The airway remains open, promoting adequate air intake, and reduces air velocity and soft tissue vibration and collapse.
In order to work with an optimal treatment outcome, oral appliances must be custom fitted by a qualified dentist like Dr. Danoff who will ensure that the appliance molds to the patient's mouth and provides maximum benefit. Once the appliance is fitted titration and adjustments begin. This process can take anywhere from 1 week to several months, depending on each patients situation.
Today many different oral appliance options are available for the treatment of snoring and/or sleep apnea. These devices may be used alone or in conjunction with other means of treating snoring and/or sleep apnea, including weight management, surgery, or CPAP.
Patients using oral appliance therapy may experience the following side effects:
Most of these side effects improve within a few weeks of regular use and some adjustments of the appliance. Patients with arthritis and chronic jaw joint dysfunction may have difficulty tolerating an OAT.
As a specially trained dentist in the treatment of OSA and oral appliance therapy, our doctors consider many factors before choosing which appliance may best suited for each individual.
An oral appliance brings the benefit of moving the jaw and tongue forward to keep the airway open while sleeping. The lower jaw and the tongue move forward away from the airway allowing the patient to breath normally during sleep.