Sleep Apnea Treatment Options: Your Oral Appliance

Posted on: 14 May 2015

There are many conditions that have a connection to your dental health which you might not realize. One of those conditions is sleep apnea. If you have been diagnosed with the condition, it is important you seek treatment and understand your dentist's role in that treatment. 

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially life threatening sleep disorder that results in the obstruction of your airways while you are sleeping. While sleeping, tissue in your throat collapses and obstructs the airways. 

There are many signs of sleep apnea, including loud snoring, fatigue, and insomnia. You could also have trouble staying awake during the day and feel tired when you wake up from your sleep. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, it is important that you have a sleep study performed by your doctor. Once diagnosed, treatment can begin.

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

There are several methods available to treat sleep apnea, including the use of an oral appliance. The appliance is an option only if you have a mild to moderate case of the condition. In fact, your doctor will most likely recommend it as a first treatment. 

The oral appliance is designed to help keep your airway open while you are sleeping. The dentist will custom make the appliance. There are over-the-counter versions available, but to ensure that you get the best fit, it is best to go with custom made. It can take several weeks before your dentist completes the process to get an appliance custom fit for you. During that period, the dentist will evaluate your needs, find the right appliance for you, and make adjustments. It is crucial that you follow up with the dentist as requested so that you can get the proper care needed. 

How Does an Oral Appliance Work?

The oral appliance has several functions. It will help to reposition your tongue, lower jaw, and soft palate. It also works to stabilize your tongue and lower jaw so that they do not force the tissue in your throat to close. 

The appliance is small and you can take it anywhere with you. There is an adjustment period, but it is relatively short. 

Your dentist and family doctor will work closely together to ensure that you get the right fit for your oral appliance. It may take several weeks, but once the fit is accurate, you will not have to worry about suffering any complications from your condition. To learn more, visit a website like


About Marcel and the Dentist

Hi, my name is Marcel. Welcome to my site! I started it to help others learn about children's dentistry. Most of us don't remember dentist trips from our early childhood. Maybe we didn't even really care about our teeth until we started losing baby teeth. In my case, I became interested in children's dentistry as a young father. When my kids were young, I was a student, and our insurance did not cover visits to the dentist. Although my wife and I tried to teach our kids good hygiene on our own, it was difficult. When we we finally able to take them to the dentist, my little girls were scared and didn't know what was going on. Luckily, they appreciate the dentist now that they are older, but their first experiences helped teach me more about the importance of children's dentistry. Hopefully you can learn from my experiences!