Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral Appliance Therapy

A “sleep apnea” is when a person stops breathing while sleeping. This happens when the airway becomes partially or completely obstructed. Obstructed airways can cause snoring, choking, and pauses in breathing. Sleep apnea can be mild to severe. That means it’s ongoing and tends to get worse over time without treatment.

Sleep apnea has several symptoms and includes the following:

  • Loud snoring.
  • Episodes in which breathing stops during sleep
  • Panting for air during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Difficulty staying asleep 
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness 
  • Difficulty concentrating while awake

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the throat relax and collapse during sleep. This blocks the airway, which can result in loud snoring and interrupted sleep. OSA affects approximately 18 million adults in the United States. Untreated OSA can lead to serious medical complications, including heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.

Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)

Oral appliance therapy is an ideal treatment for sleep apnea and benefits patients who are not happy with CPAP. The treatment involves the use of a custom-fitted oral appliance that is designed to gently reposition the tongue, lower jaw, soft palate, and uvula. It works by keeping the airways clear and open by preventing the collapse of tissue in the back of the throat, thus regulating breathing during sleep.

What Are The Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy?

Oral appliance therapy offers an easy-to-administer, non-invasive treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Oral appliances work by repositioning the jaw and tongue, opening the airway, and helping patients breathe normally while sleeping. They are specifically intended to treat patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. The other benefits of oral appliance therapy include the following:

  • As effective as CPAP
  • Easy to wear and use
  • Comfortable and non-obtrusive

Types of Oral Appliance Therapy For Sleep Apnea

  • Mandibular advancement device

A mandibular advancement device, or MAD, is an oral appliance that you wear while you sleep. By exercising the muscles in the jaw and tongue, the appliance helps keep the jaw in a forward position. This opens the airway, preventing your airway from collapsing as you sleep.

The MAD works by moving the lower jaw forward. It pulls the tongue and jaw forward, which opens the airway. This keeps air from flowing into the lungs and prevents apnea.

  • Tongue retaining mouthpiece

A tongue retaining mouthpiece is a device that is worn while you sleep. It essentially holds your tongue in place and keeps it from blocking your airway.

If you suffer from sleep apnea, the tongue retaining mouthpiece may be an effective option to treat your symptoms. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the right option for your needs.

How Do I Know If Oral Appliance Therapy Is Right For Me?

Oral appliance therapy is used to treat sleep apnea. A custom-made oral appliance fits in your mouth like a mouth guard or orthodontic retainer. Unlike a CPAP machine or other treatments, this oral appliance fits in your mouth. The appliance shifts your lower jaw forward slightly, which opens up the airway and prevents obstruction.

To learn more about our services for sleep apnea, call us at (971) 339-0816 or visit the Sleep Health Partners office at 9370 SW Greenburg Rd, Suite 422 Rd Suite 422, Portland 97223.

Phone: (971) 339-0816



9370 SW Greenburg Rd, Suite 422, Portland, 97223

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