What is Oral Appliance Therapy & How Will It Benefit Me?

What is Oral Appliance Therapy & How Will It Benefit Me?

Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is one of the most successful ways of treating obstructive apnea and snoring. Sleep apnea refers to a situation where breathing is disturbed to a point where it stops for several seconds to a minute during sleep. The affected person is often jolted from their sleep due to deprivation of oxygen in their system.

Why Oral Appliance Therapy is good for You

Sleep apnea impacts negatively on your health. Experts in sleep dentistry have found that treating it can help:

  • Reduce hypersomnia. It also reduces your chances of causing hypersomnia-related road accidents.
  • Reduce your chances of getting a stroke, hypertension, or heart disease

What Characterizes Sleep Apnea?

It affects more than 18 million Americans and can cause serious repercussions on your health. It is characterized by:

  • Disturbed sleep, where you are jolted awake several times during the night
  • Feeling sleepy even after a full night’s sleep
  • Loud snoring
  • Excessive sleepiness during the day (hypersomnia), which can cause the affected party to fall asleep at any place. Hypersomnia is responsible for three percent of all road crashes in the US.

Oral appliance therapy (OAT) entails fitting an oral appliance in your mouth while you sleep. The invention of this appliance is regarded highly in sleep dentistry due to its effectiveness. It is removable and portable. It works by either holding the tongue in place or positioning the jaw in a way that prevents the airway from collapsing. OAT is more effective in mild to moderate cases of obstructive apnea than in the more severe cases.

OAT Offers These Benefits 

  • It is small and portable.
  • It causes no discomfort.
  • It is easy to wear and maintain.
  • It is almost noiseless.
  • It effectively reduces apnea.

It is not a one-size-fits-all device. Every patient has to have theirs fitted by a professional. It fits into the mouth like a mouth guard. There are two types of appliances:

Mandibular Repositioning Appliance – They reposition the lower jaw by snapping over the lower and upper teeth. They make use of tiny metal hinges to move the lower jaw and the tongue forward effectively creating a spacious airway.

Tongue Retaining Appliances – They are made from softer material and work by holding the tongue to keep it from falling back and blocking the airway.

We are well versed with OAT and would like to help you get a good night’s sleep. Contact Tyler Davis DDS today and let us know how we can be of assistance.