Insomnia, Snoring, Sleep Apnea

The world and life of a sleep tech

Oral Devices for Sleep Disorders

Posted by amykr on May 7, 2009

Oral devices are one of the least talked about ways to help people with sleep disordered breathing. Because of this lack of discussion there is a great deal of misinformation as to who they work for and what they do.
Sleep apnea and primary snoring can have a profound effect on not only the person who has it but also their bed partner. Loud snoring disturbs sleep and if sleep apnea is present then the pauses and gasps can wake their partner from a sound sleep. When the sleep apnea is mild the option of treating it with an oral device can be quite beneficial.
These small devices come in two varieties. The first one, and the most popular is the mandibular advancement device, it moves the lower jaw forward so that the tongue is advanced and develops more muscle tone and opens the airway. Although there are many manufacturers of these devices the person who should choose which you use and fit you is a dentist who is experienced in sleep disorder dentistry.
The other type of device is best for patients who wear dentures or who have issues that would not allow the jaw to be moved into the proper position. It is called a tongue retention device. It uses suction to pull the tongue forward. This moves it out of the back of the throat and also ads muscle tone to it to help to open the airway.
These devices have several advantages over other treatments. It does not require any surgical procedures. It is small and lightweight making it easy to travel with. It is easier to get used to then some of the other treatment options available.
The drawbacks are that they do not work as well for moderate to severe apnea or where the problem is somewhere other then the back of the throat.
If you have primary snoring, or snoring without any other disorder or you have mild sleep apnea and loosing weight or positional therapy, training yourself not to sleep on your back this might be a solutions. It also might be a good solution for those who do not want to have surgery to fix their snoring problem.
If you want more information on this subject http://www.aadsm.org can provide you with links to doctors in your area accredited to perform medical sleep dentistry.

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4 Responses to “Oral Devices for Sleep Disorders”

  1. […] Original post by amykr […]

  2. […] View post: Oral Devices for Sleep Disorders […]

  3. It would interesting to see how effective the dental device would be with moderate Sleep apnea patients and if it do anything for those with extreme SA.

    • amykr said

      The dental sleep society did the studies from what I could tell on the site. They found that it was nto as effective as CPAP. It will decrease the snoring in some patients and if the issue is the tongue then it will help but if the issue is elsewhere in the resp system then it will not help

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