Oral Appliance for Sleep Disordered Breathing

Oral Appliance for Sleep Disordered Breathing samples

Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is a nonsurgical option for the treatment of obstructive sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  The ideal treatment for people with OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which is a machine that blows air into the airway to keep it open during sleep. Although CPAP therapy is highly effective, some people have trouble tolerating it, as you must strap on a mask to wear during sleep. In these instances, other treatments are recommended, such as oral appliances.

People with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) stop breathing multiple times throughout the night due to physical blockages of the airway. The lack of quality sleep can cause daytime tiredness, headaches, trouble concentrating, and other symptoms. These symptoms may interfere with their work life, relationships, and ability to drive safely. People with OSA also face an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure, among other issues.

How do Oral Appliance Therapy Mouthpieces for Obstructive Sleep Apnea work?

Most OAT mouthpieces work by moving the jaw forward which increases the size of the upper airway, thus reducing the air resistance that leads to sleep apnea and snoring. Some sleep apnea mouthpieces allow the user to adjust the degree to which their jaw is moved forward. An example of this kind of sleep apnea mouthpiece is the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP). Although 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 and made custom just for you.

CPAP Machine or Oral Appliance which is right for me?

CPAP is the first choice in the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  Oral appliances might be a good option for you if you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and have trouble using or non-compliant in your use of a CPAP machine. Instead of setting your CPAP aside and going untreated, talk to Dr. Grenier about the possibility of trying an oral sleep appliance custom made for you.  Sleep apnea mouthpieces are not suitable for all patients. They are generally more effective in mild to moderate sleep apnea cases, although they may be recommended to patients with severe sleep apnea who cannot tolerate a CPAP.  Because sleep apnea mouthpieces are easy to use, there is a higher rate of compliance compared to other treatments for sleep apnea.  If you travel and do not like to pack your CPAP having an oral appliance too can help you get a good night sleep while away from home.

What Are the Risks of Oral Appliance Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Using oral appliances to treat obstructive sleep apnea comes with little risk of harm. People who use oral appliances might experience some adverse effects, like discomfort or pain, dry mouth, excessive saliva, TMJ arthritis or shifting tooth placement.   OAT mouthpieces have a limited life expectancy as they can wear with time. They are not designed to last forever. If you choose to use an oral device for sleep apnea, you will have to replace it every few years.  There is a small risk of drifting of your teeth and a small percentage of patients can develop an open bite which may necessitate orthodontic treatment.   

If you wish to learn more about how Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Disordered Breathing can help you rest better
contact our office at Plantation Office Phone Number (954) 473-1806 for a consultation.