What Are Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea?
Dentist fabricated oral appliances work to keep the airways open during sleep. The appliance does this by pulling the lower jaw downward and forward. This opens up the airway and minimizes the effects of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. When you sleep, decreased muscle tone and gravity causes the tongue to fall back towards in your throat and obstructing the airway. This closes off the airway and stops the movement of oxygen..
Benefits of Oral Appliances
Mandibular Advancement Devices are most effective for people with mild obstructive sleep apnea. However, they can also be used for patients who are non-compliant with CPAP. Apnea Patients are far more likely to consistently wear their oral appliance than they are to wear the bulky claustrophobic CPAP mask. One sleep medicine study showed that over 90% of patients still used their oral appliance regularly after the course of a year, while less than half of CPAP patients stuck to their treatment regimen.
In addition, patients love that oral appliances are:
- Easy to wear
- Do not restrict movement in bed
- Easy to travel with
- Do not require electricity
- Oral Appliances and Positional Therapy
Altering the position in which you sleep can help increase the success of your appliance and decrease the severity of your sleep apnea overall.
When you lie on your back, gravity has the greatest effect on your mouth and tongue. Sleeping on your side or stomach greatly decreases the effect of gravity on your mouth and allows you to breathe and sleep easier.
If you are used to sleeping on your back, it may be difficult to change your sleeping habits. There are, however, many behavioral therapy methods that can help you get into the habit of sleeping on your side.
Sleep with a full backpack.
Fill a sock with tennis balls and sew it to the back of your shirt.
When you try to roll over, the pressure of the tennis balls or bulk of the backpack will remind you to stay on your side. Many patients find relief by elevating your head and chest while you sleep using a foam wedge pillow.
Using a positional therapy technique as well as an oral appliance will put your body in the best position for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Get the most advanced sleep apnea care for you and your family. Discover why our office is the leading sleep apnea dental office in Pasadena. Come see why sleep trained dentists are at the forefront of sleep apnea care. Visit our office at 3421 Burke Rd #1 , Pasadena Texas 77504 or call us at 832-457-0647. Regain your health.