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Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances for the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea. 

Oral appliances (OAs) are indicated for use in patients with mild to moderate OSA who prefer OAs to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), or who do not respond to CPAP, are not appropriate candidates for CPAP, or who fail treatment attempts with CPAP or treatment with behavioral measures such as weight loss or sleep position change. 

Although oral/dental appliances are an excellent treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, they do have their disadvantages.

  • They can cause or worsen temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
  • If the jaw to pulled too far forward, it can cause pain in the joint when eating
  • They may cause a temporary or permanent shift of your bite
  • Requires natural teeth to fit properly
  • They may cause tooth movement
  • The appliances are large and are fitted to both the upper and lower jaw

NOTE: The above disadvantages are confined to the appliances that advance the jaw, Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD.) 

The Full Breath Solution

The Full Breath Solution is the only dental appliance that I am aware of that does not advance the jaw or attempt to hold the palate up.  It is a single arch appliance that can be fitted to either the upper or the lower jaw.  The Full Breath Solution is small and more comfortable than the MAD appliances.  It is FDA approved for the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea.

I am very excited that my office will soon be offering the Full Breath Solution to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea!  I am very aware of the many problems associated with sleep apnea as I suffer from moderate/severe obstructive sleep apnea.  I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea in 1999.  Unfortunately, my apnea has gradually worsened with time.  Although I am fortunate to tolerate CPAP, I will have my own Full Breath Solution soon.  Visit our website soon for updates.

Posted January 28, 2012

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