Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is increasing becoming diagnosed in the United States. It is not because it occurs more often but rather it is recognized and treated more frequently. OSA can be life threatening in severe cases. In moderate to mild cases, it is extremely disruptive to not only the patient but to the loved ones who share sleeping space with them. We recommend that before considering any oral sleep appliance that you be evaluated by a medical doctor with specialized training in OSA. Sometimes patients are placed on a continuous positive air pressure device (C-PAP) which often helps those severe cases. In some individuals it is annoying and not well tolerated. These cases are often helped by ‘snore appliances’.
There are many varieties of appliances from fully adjustable to rigid. One design is not necessarily better than the next. It really depends on the individual’s set of circumstances. The more adjustable ones, while often better at ‘dialing in’ the problem, also have more moving parts and are more complicated.
All appliances perform the same role; however, and that is advancing the lower jaw, or mandible, forward to allow for better and smoother airflow down the throat and trachea thereby reducing turbulance (snoring). It is a fairly simple concept. The downside of a snore guard is that when it is removed in the morning it leaves your jaw feeling ‘dis-jointed’ for a few minutes after the appliance is removed. It can also shift the teeth if not correctly designed.
Please give us a call if you think you might have a snoring problem!