These appliances, which must be fitted and worn overnight by the dentist or orthodontist, include:
Mandibular advancement device (MAD). The most commonly used mouth device for sleep apnea, the MAD is like a sports mouth guard. The appliances fit into the upper and lower teeth and have metal rings that allow the lower jaw to move forward. Some, like the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP), allow you to control the degree of progress.
Tongue retaining device. Using less material than the MAD, this device is a splint that holds the tongue in an open airway.
For people with mild or moderate sleep apnea, especially those who sleep on their back or stomach, a brace can improve sleep and reduce the frequency and intensity of snoring. Also, people tend to use their braces more regularly than CPAP.
Dental devices have also been shown to control sleep apnea in the long term compared to uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), a surgical procedure for apnea, in which the surgeon removes soft tissue from the back of the throat. However, braces have some drawbacks, including stiffness, tooth movement, pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthritis, dry lips, and excessive salivation.
If you are fitted with braces, you should have a check-up from the start to see if it is working and a time check for changes or replacements. If you are experiencing pain or changes in your bite, your dentist or orthodontist who fits your appliance can make adjustments to correct the problem.
The best treatment for obstructive sleep apnea depends on many factors, including the severity of your problem, the physical structure of your upper airway, other medical conditions you may have, and your preferences. You should work with your doctor or sleep specialist to choose the best treatment option for you.
Dr. Montz, Dr. Maher, or Dr. Dunwody at Houston Sleep Solutions South will be able to help you determine if sleep apnea treatment is right for you. Contact us now.
Locations (Tap to open in Google Maps):
2443 S Galveston Ave
Pearland, Texas 77581
Pearland Phone: 281-485-4829
1769 S. Friendswood Dr. Ste 107
Friendswood, TX 77546
Friendswood Phone: 713-565-1178