Oral appliance therapy presents a less intrusive alternative for many sleep-related breathing disorders. If necessary, oral appliance therapy can be combined with more conventionally used therapy to enhance the effectiveness of these treatments. Better yet, it allows people to continue their lives much more normally while providing long-term relief.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Oral appliances can be extremely effective in managing obstructive sleep disorders because they position the lower jaw and tongue in a more forward position during sleep. As the tongue moves forward, the airway opens up, making breathing easier.
No one technique is effective for everyone, however:
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances as a first line therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea and for those severe sleep apnea sufferers whose CPAP treatment has failed.
Acceptance rates of oral appliances versus CPAP
Anything new and different in the mouth takes getting used to, but in a recent study, 91 percent of sleep apnea patients who were treated with an oral appliance were still using their appliances comfortably at the end of one year.
In comparison, CPAP compliance is less than 50 percent. Studies show that if patients are given a choice in treatment, the overwhelming majority will choose oral appliance therapy over CPAP.
Treatments for “simple” snoring and Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)
Oral appliance therapy is an excellent way to treat both “simple” snoring and UARS. Remember that even “simple” snoring can disturb sleep quality of the snorer and the bed partner alike! Oral appliances treat “simple” snoring in much the same way as the more serious disorders. The jaw is held in a more forward position during sleep and the airway in the back of the throat opens up. As a result, the annoying vibration or snoring stops and peaceful sleep can resume.
There is considerable evidence that the intense vibration in the soft palate caused by snoring initiates an inflammatory response in that tissue. It is suspected that, over time, this chronic tissue inflammation induces swelling and causes “simple” snoring to deteriorate into more serious disorders. Oral appliance therapy reduces or eliminates the swelling by stopping the vibration.
Contact us today to see if Oral Appliance Therapy is right for you.