Oral Appliance Therapy
If you have health issues due to your sleep apnea, you may be looking into therapy applications to reduce symptoms and obtain a better night’s rest. One of your options is oral appliance therapy, which includes two different devices. These oral appliances are the mandibular repositioning devices and tongue retaining devices, which both work differently in their application but deliver a similar result. These are not as popular as CPAP machines but are usually more comfortable to adjust to over time. At Roth Family Dentistry, our goal is to help you decide which device will work best for you.
Who Would Need Oral Appliance Therapy?
If you suffer from central sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy may be a solution for you. Sleep apnea causes you to start and stop breathing in the middle of your sleep and can occur multiple times in a single hour. This can lead to difficulty staying asleep during the night, excessive fatigue, or trouble sleeping or staying asleep. This can affect your quality of life and cause health problems if left untreated.
How Do Oral Appliances Work?
Oral appliance devices utilize a removable oral appliance that fits into your mouth while you sleep. It typically fits similar to an orthodontic retainer or sportsguard and prevents your airway from collapsing while you sleep. There are two types of oral appliances: mandibular repositioning devices and tongue retaining devices. Both must be custom fitted for them to work effectively, and they work best for central sleep apnea, which does not cause snoring. Our team can help determine which type of oral appliance therapy is best for you.
Mandibular Repositioning Devices
A mandibular repositioning device is used to reposition the lower jaw by moving it slightly downward and forward. This helps keep your airway open while you sleep, which allows your body to obtain the oxygen it needs and prevents you from waking up due to a lack of oxygen. This is the most widely used oral appliance therapy on the market as well as the most effective method.
Tongue Retaining Devices
Tongue retaining devices are less commonly used because they are more difficult to adjust to than a mandibular repositioning device. This oral appliance holds your tongue down while you sleep. By doing this, it prevents your tongue from blocking your throat while you sleep. However, since it does not keep your throat open while you sleep, it may be ineffective.
Other Types of Treatment Devices
While oral appliance therapy is an option, it is not typically useful for people who suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea disorders. In these cases, CPAP machines are the preferred treatment option and provide the best results. However, they do take longer to adjust to since they are more intrusive and create a loud noise that people are typically not used to hearing. They are also larger devices that you cannot take with you when you travel, which makes them inconvenient at times.
If you are looking for a good treatment device for your sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy may be an effective option for you. Contact our team today at Roth Family Dentistry by calling 406-728-2745 to schedule an appointment.