If you or your partner is losing sleep due to excessive snoring or sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy may be a good fit. Typically, oral appliances are used when CPAP doesn’t work or if an appliance is preferred over CPAP usage.
Oral appliances are custom made plastic devices similar to mouth guards used in sports or orthodontic retainers. They help to prevent the collapse of the soft tissues in the back of the throat, which makes adequate air intake possible. They also reposition the tongue and lower jaw forward to encourage easier breathing.
Adjusting to Oral Appliances
While it may take up to two weeks to become adjusted to sleeping with an oral appliance in place, most people find them very comfortable and easy to use. It has been reported that 90-95% of patients have long-term satisfaction with their treatment using oral appliances.
In the initial stages of use, some patients report problems with excess saliva or dry mouth. These problems tend to be very short-term, and resolve without the need for additional appointments. Occasionally, a small adjustment to the appliance may be needed if excess saliva or dry mouth lasts more than the initial adjustment period.
Follow up care is provided to make sure the device is properly fitted and effective in treating your snoring or sleep apnea. If you are unhappy with using your CPAP, give us a call to schedule a consultation to determine if an oral appliance is the right option for you.
Ramie A. Tritt, MD, President of Atlanta ENT.