A snoring appliance can improve your breathing as you sleep, but it requires an adjustment period. Unlike a CPAP machine, you wear a snoring appliance inside your mouth. This is the tradeoff that you make when you swap the much bulkier CPAP machine for a compact, portable appliance.The good news is that there are ways…
How an Oral Appliance Can Help Sleep Apnea
An oral appliance is a common dental device that is used to treat sleep apnea and snoring. Other treatment options include the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, surgery and lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, changing sleep positions and losing weight. Your doctor may recommend an oral appliance if you have mild or moderate sleep apnea or if CPAP has not helped you.
The effectiveness of an oral appliance
Oral appliances are often effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea. These dental devices are designed to keep the throat open. A person should place an oral appliance in the mouth at night before going to bed. It should be worn the whole time someone is sleeping and taken out when a patient is awake.
How oral appliances work
An oral appliance works by either pulling or pushing the lower jaw forward. This helps to keep the tongue in a position that prevents it from blocking the airway. This minimizes the chances of snoring or the tongue blocking the airway while someone is sleeping. If a dental device works, the sound of snoring will be gone completely or lessened.
Just like with all treatments, not every person gets the same benefits from dental devices. For some people, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea go away completely, while for others, different forms of treatments may be more ideal. Oral appliances are highly likely to work if a person has moderate or mild sleep apnea. A person whose condition improves when lying on the side rather than the back and is not overweight is also more likely to benefit from the devices. It is important for a patient to be properly fitted for an oral appliance and to then try it. This is the only way to find out how well it will work.
If a dental device is working well, it will relieve snoring. The symptoms of sleep apnea such as sleepiness and fatigue will also improve. The effectiveness of an oral appliance can be determined by a repeat overnight sleep study. If the results of the study are positive, a patient will be encouraged to continue using the device every night.
If for any reason it is not helping, other treatments may be recommended. If the symptoms return, a patient should schedule a follow-up appointment with a dentist or doctor trained in treating sleep disorders. The appliance may have to be adjusted by a dentist for it to be effective. After several years, some people using them opt for other treatments. This is common especially if they have had weight gain.
You should consider getting an oral appliance for moderate or mild obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. This medical device can help treat the disorder and relieve snoring. This will allow you to sleep well and to have a better quality of life. If you want to find out if an oral appliance can help, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you decide if it is right for you.
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