What Is an Oral Appliance?

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Posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2022 at 1:55 pm    

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. It is a sleep disorder in which the patient suffers from breathing issues caused by physical blockages to the airway while they sleep. It can lead to loud snoring and jerking or gasping awake as the diaphragm attempts to open the airway. Left untreated, OSA can lead to long-term complications like heart attacks and strokes.

If you have been diagnosed with OSA, then you may have used a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to treat your condition. CPAP devices feature a mask and hose that force a continuous stream of oxygen into the lungs overnight. However, these devices are bulky, loud, and uncomfortable. The most popular CPAP devices on the market, manufactured by Philips Respironics, were actually recalled recently after it was discovered that the sound abatement foam contained in the devices had the potential to cause cancer.

If you are looking for a new treatment option for your OSA that is effective and safe, look no further than oral appliances.

What Are Oral Appliances?

Oral appliances are devices that OSA patients use to keep their airway open throughout the night while they sleep. Oral appliances achieve this by repositioning your jaw to prevent the tissue in your airway from obstructing your breathing. As a result, patients can breathe freely without snoring and without risking further health problems down the road.

There are several types of oral appliances on the market today. They include:

  • Mandibular Advancement Devices – This oral device works by shifting the jaw and tongue forward, which reduces blockage in the throat.
  • Tongue-Stabilizing Devices – These oral appliances are usually made of flexible plastic or silicone resin. They use suction to pull the tongue forward, away from the back of the throat, reducing blockages in the air passages.
  • Mouth Guards – These types of devices also help reposition the jaw, but to a lesser degree than mandibular advancement devices.

How Silent Night Therapy Can Help

At Silent Night Therapy, we understand how invasive CPAP devices can be. We are also familiar with the severe consequences of untreated sleep apnea. Now that Philips CPAP devices have been recalled, many sleep apnea patients have begun searching for alternative solutions. One of the solutions that we frequently recommend to patients is an Oral Sleep Appliance.

Here at Silent Night Therapy, we offer four types of oral appliances. They look similar to mouthguards and are ultimately far less intrusive than a CPAP machine. Our oral appliances shift the jaw to open the air passages, allowing oxygen to pass freely in and out of the lungs while a patient sleeps. Each of the different types of appliances we offer has its own benefits, not the least of which is that they are more comfortable to wear than a CPAP.

Contact Us

If you have OSA and would like to learn more about how an oral appliance can help you sleep better, call us at 631-983-2463 and schedule an appointment with us at your earliest convenience. Dr. Clifford Brown was among the first dentists to prescribe and offer oral appliances here on Long Island. Dr. Brown is committed to helping sleep apnea patients get the effective treatment they need and deserve. Contact us today.