An oral appliance is a simple structure similar to a retainer that you wear when you sleep. By holding your jaw slightly forward, it helps keep your airway open. This can also bring your tongue more forward in your mouth, further reducing obstruction. Think of it as a BreatheRight strip for your mouth: a small device that uses gentle, mechanical force to keep air moving.
Not necessarily; however, snoring is a potential symptom of sleep apnea. Snoring is caused by the vibration of respiratory structures, chiefly your soft palate and uvula. During sleep, these muscles relax; air passing through your throat vibrates them, resulting in the distinct snoring sound.
Relaxation of these muscles – along with many other factors – can cause significant airway obstruction in some cases. It is during these obstructions that breathing is interrupted, causing the brief awakening associated with sleep apnea.
Yes! In fact, oral appliances can have a 95% success rate for non-apnea snoring. However, because regular snoring is not considered a disease, insurance will most likely not cover it. That said, lower cost options are available for snoring-only applications.
No! There are no shots and no drilling required. Your dentist simply takes an impression of your teeth and mouth. The appliance is then custom-designed. After a few visits to test fitting and comfort, you’ll be good to go.
Your oral appliance should be very comfortable to wear, similar to a retainer. In fact, compliance rates for oral appliances are around 80%, compared to the 50% for a CPAP machine (another popular sleep apnea treatment.)