Dental mouth guards used for help with sleep apnea



Could my dental office change your life?

If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea — a condition in which relaxation of the muscles around the tongue and throat causes the tissues to block airflow to the lungs while you sleep — there are a number of treatment options to discuss with your doctor. Two of the most widely used and most effective are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and dental appliances, or mouth guards.

Within the past few years, I have made many devices for patients with moderate sleep apnea. Typically, I made two different types in the office.

The first is a Mandibular advancement device (MAD). The most widely used mouth device for sleep apnea, MADs look much like a mouth guard used in sports. The devices snap over the upper and lower dental arches and have metal hinges that make it possible for the lower jaw to be eased forward. Some, such as the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP), allow you to control the degree of advancement.

The second type is a tongue retaining device. Used less commonly than MAD, this device is a splint that holds the tongue in place to keep the airway open. For people with mild to moderate sleep apnea, particularly those who sleep on their backs or stomachs, dental devices may improve sleep and reduce the frequency and loudness of snoring. Also, people are more likely to use their dental appliances regularly than CPAP.

If you are experiencing trouble sleeping or if you are curious to see if I can help you sleep better (or at least the people trying to sleep in your home) please contact my office (205) 933-2460.   It may change your life!