Obstructive Sleep Apnea and snoring have similar causes. Constriction of the airway at the base of the tongue in the throat (pharynx) that blocks the airway. By moving the lower jaw forward the tongue, which is attached to the mandible, is pulled forward. This opens the airway and allows normal breathing as well as an elimination of snoring. Oral Appliances are only to be worn at night, and only relieve symptoms when they are being used.
Oral Appliances are very much like orthodontic retainers or sport night guards in the way they cover your teeth. Since the purpose is to move the lower jaw forward, both the upper and lower teeth are covered so they use each other to force the movement. The devices we use are custom made, and the design picked according to your specific needs, and only relieve symptoms when they are being used.
There are many Oral Appliances available. The custom made devices are chosen based on your anatomy and needs. All of the ones we use are adjustable allowing for fine tuning the device to your specific problems. Below are a few of the devices:
Who is a candidate for Oral Appliance Therapy?
The only way to know if you are a candidate if for you to be examined. Your dentition, and mouth have to evaluated in relation to the extent of your snoring and airway problems. Patients who can't tolerate CPAP obtain complete or significant relief of symptoms depending on the severity of their Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
As Oral Appliance Therapy often has minor problems assocated with it. When first placed, it is interpreted as food by the mouth, and often there is excessive salivation, this tends to stop in a few minutes. All night the jaw has been positioned in a foward position. Upon awakening the teeth won't meet properly, and we give you exercises to help get the jaw rapidly back into proper alignment. There may also be some muscle discomfort from the overnight stretch.
Over a long term, there may be some movement of the teeth (after all, they are the anchors for the Oral Appliances). The most common form of this is spaces opening between some of the teeth.
Oral appliance therapy stops snoring allowing one's bed partner to have a good night sleep or in severe cases, back into the bed. For people diagnosed with Obstructive sleep Apnea, the feedom of not being connected to a machine, not having the machine noise, and not having the stream of air being forced in your nose or mouth is a pleasure. For those with severe sleep apnea, these devices can allow a reduction in the force of the air flow making things a great deal more comfortable. They will usually allow you to sleep on public transportation without snoring so loud that you disturb those around you
|Home | Sleep Disorders | Snoring & Sleep Apnea | Sleep/Snore Quizzes | Can't Stand CPAP? | Oral Appliance Therapy
Tell Your Doctor | Q & A | Contact Us | Testimonials | Resources | About Dr. Fischman | Map & Directions | New patient Forms