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Michigan Head & Neck Institute

Oral Device for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can be potentially life threatening if not managed properly, and it affects millions of Americans. However, at Michigan Head & Neck, we find that many do not realize that they have this medical condition until a loved one reports that they stop breathing in their sleep. An oral device for sleep apnea can help with this, as well as other health risks, including:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Increased risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Auto accidents resulting from drowsiness
  • Memory and intellectual deterioration

oral device for sleep apnea


Sleep Apnea Causes and Treatment Options

Sleep apnea is caused by loose tissue that obstructs your airways as you sleep and prevents you from breathing. Your tongue may fall back and block your airway, or throat tissue may become overly relaxed and fall out of place. There are several possible treatment options available for sleep apnea, including continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), surgery, and oral mouthpieces. Oral mouthpieces and CPAP are among the most common treatments prescribed for sleep apnea, while surgery is usually only resorted to when all other treatment options have failed.


Two Types of Dental Mouthpiece for Sleep Apnea

A sleep apnea mouthpiece may go by different names. They may be referred to as oral appliances, night guards, or mouthguards. Indeed, they are similar-looking to the mouthguards used by athletes to protect their teeth while competing.

While there are many different types of oral mouthpieces used to treat sleep apnea, they can be grouped into two basic categories: tongue retaining devices and mandibular advancement devices.

  • Tongue retaining devices work by holding your tongue in a specific position so that it does not fall back into your throat and block your airway.
  • Mandibular advancement devices open up your airway by positioning your jaw down and slightly forward.


Find the Best Treatment Option for You

The treatment for sleep apnea depends on what is causing it. At Michigan Head & Neck, we can help to determine which treatment option will be most effective for you. Once you’ve been fitted with the best mouthpiece for sleep apnea, you will receive follow-up sleep studies to ensure the appliance’s effectiveness.

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© Copyright 1985 - 2019 Michigan Head & Neck Institute

The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other materials are for informational purposes only. While there are many commonalities among multiple TMD and sleep apnea cases, each patient is unique. Information on this website should be used to educate the reader about what they should discuss with their doctor if they are suffering from the listed symptoms. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of your physician or you may call our office with any questions you may have regarding TMD or sleep apnea. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Disclaimer: This site contains selective use of the term 'specialist.' There is no recognized specialty in TMJ. For more information, please contact us.