Dental Alternatives to CPAP Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you have mild to moderate OSA and cannot tolerate or are not helped by CPAP therapy, an oral device may be an effective treatment option. Dr. Montz, Dr. Maher, or Dr. Dunwody at Houston Sleep Solutions South will be able to help you determine if sleep apnea treatment is right for you.
These devices, which must be installed by a dentist or orthodontist and which are worn over the mouth at night, include:
Mandibular displacement device (MAD)
This is the most commonly used oral device for sleep apnea, MADs are used as a mouth protector in sporting activities as well. The device snaps onto the upper and lower dental arches and has a metal hinge that allows the lower jaw to slide forward. Others, such as the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP), also allow you to control the level of progression.
Tongue retaining device.
Less commonly used than MAD, this device is essentially a splint that restricts the tongue to keep the airways open.
Designed for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea, especially those who sleep on their backs or tummies, these dental appliances can improve sleep and reduce the amount and intensity of snoring. Additionally, people tend to use their dental equipment more often than CPAP.
Dental devices have also been shown to manage long-term sleep apnea compared to UPPP, the standard surgical procedure for apnea in which the surgeon removes soft tissue from the back of the neck. However, dental aids have some potential disadvantages, including altered bite, tooth movement, pain, temporal mandibular joint arthritis (TMJ), dry lips, and excessive salivation.
If you have been placed with a dental appliance, you should check it soon after, to see if it is working and check to see if you’ll need any adjustments or replacements regularly. If you notice pain or changes in your bite, your dentist or orthodontist who installed your device can make changes to correct the problem.
The best treatment for obstructive sleep apnea depends on many factors, including the severity of your problem, the physical structure of your airways, and other health problems you may have, in addition to your personal preferences. You should work with your doctor at Houston Sleep Solutions and a sleep specialist to choose the best treatment option for you.
Dr. Montz, Dr. Maher, or Dr. Dunwody at Houston Sleep Solutions South will be able to help you determine if sleep apnea treatment is right for you. Contact us now.