How Do Sleep Apnea Oral Devices Work?
Most sleep apnea oral devices work by gently pushing the jaw forward. In doing this, they increase the size of the upper airway, which reduces the air resistance causing sleep apnea and snoring. Some of these devices allow the user to adjust the degree to which their jaw is moved forward, as in the Thornton Adjustable Positioner
Tongue retainers are another type of sleep apnea device. They use a splint that keeps the tongue in place to ensure that the airway remains open during sleep.
Anti-snoring devices work in a similar way, if you are suffering from sleep apnea the oral device you use must be designed for sleep apnea specifically.
How Effective Are Apnea Devices?
Although CPAP air pressure machines are the most common solutions for apnea, dental appliances are becoming more common in treating mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring.
Oral devices for sleep apnea are often used as a substitute for CPAP or surgery, as they are more cost-expensive and less invasive. Sleep apnea devices can be used together with a weight loss program if the patient is overweight. If you also suffer from snoring, you may find that your sleep apnea mouth guard also reduces airway turbulence.
Oral devices are not suitable for all patients, and they generally have more efficacy in mild to moderate sleep apnea cases, although they can also be prescribed to patients with severe sleep apnea who cannot tolerate a CPAP machine. It is important to consult with your doctor to figure out whether this treatment would be right for you.
Even after you have received your sleep apnea mouth guard, your doctor may request a sleep study to determine if it is effective. Follow-up care is imperative to ensure that you are getting the right treatment.