Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral Appliances are placed in the mouth and are worn much like an orthodontic appliance or sports mouth protector. They are worn during sleep to prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat so that the airway stays open during sleep. The appliances promote adequate air intake and help to provide normal sleep in people who snore and have sleep apnea. Oral appliances can be used alone or in conjunction with other means of therapy such as continuous positive air pressure (CPAP). Determination of proper therapy can only be made by joint consultation of your sleep apnea dentist and sleep physician.

Do sleep apnea dental devices really work?

Please read this letter we received from a patient.

Do you have a list of all appliances that are available?

Certainly, the list of appliances and descriptions can be found here.

Types of sleep apnea dental appliances

Currently, over 80 different types of sleep apnea dental devices for snoring and sleep apnea are available to specially trained dentists to treat sleep disordered breathing. At first glance, this number appears overwhelming but on close examination each of the appliances falls basically into one of two categories and the diverse variety is simply a variation of a few major themes. Oral appliances can be classified by mode of action or design variation.

Tongue Retaining Appliances

Sleep Apnea Mouth ApplianceThere are very few tongue retaining devices available, but they have been well studied and shown to be effective in many patients. Tongue retainers function by directly holding the tongue in a forward position by means of a suction bulb that holds the tongue. When the tongue is in a forward position, the back of the tongue does not collapse during sleep and obstruct the airway in the throat.

The tongue is held in the suction bulb that protrudes from between the teeth on this cast.

Mandibular Repositioning Dental Appliances

Sleep Apnea Dental DeviceMandibular repositioning appliances are by far the most numerous type on the market. They all function to reposition and maintain the lower jaw (mandible) in a protruded position during sleep. It is felt that this serves to open the airway by indirectly pulling the tongue forward since the tongue is attached to the lower jaw, by stimulating activity of the muscles in the tongue and making it more rigid, and by holding the lower jaw and other structures in a stable position to prevent opening of the mouth.

Thin shells are placed over the upper and lower teeth and a device is incorporated that will pull the lower jaw forward as necessary to open the airway.


The Snoring and Sleep Apnea Dentists

The dentists associated with Snoring Isn't Sexy® provide oral appliance therapy for both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea and work with your physician for optimum treatment results.


Of Interest


Adriana Lalinde, DDS
Salinas, CA
Web Site

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In the United States, you may call 1-877-77APNEA to be connected directly to a dental office in your neighborhood.