Oral Appliances Can Manage Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Many people still don't realize that snoring and sleep apnea can often be well managed by the use of an “oral appliance”. It's a device that fits in your mouth to control the position of the tongue in relationship to the throat.
Understand your choices. There are some “one-size-fits-all” oral appliances promoted in the news and in dental journals. And, there are ads for self-fitting mouth pieces. Most people understand that to get the best results requires the expertise of a trained and skilled professional. One-size-fits-all, and doing the fitting yourself are unlikely to give you to optimal results.
If one type and design of oral appliance would benefit everyone, that would be great. But the fact is, there are over 150 of them. They vary in how they work (type) and vary in how they fit and function (design).
Two Types of Oral Appliances
1) Tongue retaining device (TRD), which directly holds the tongue a little forward, and,
2) Mandibular (lower jaw) repositioning device (MRD), which indirectly holds the lower jaw forward, so that the tongue is moved forward.
The specific TRDs and MRDs are patented according to specific design variations based on how they fit and function.
Why are there so many variations?
Individuals are unique in the exact way their jaws and tongues move, and the shape and size of their teeth, jaws, tongue, and throat. This effects the decision as to what type and design of oral appliance should be utilized, and how it may need to be further customized.
The inappropriate choice of an appliance can result in ineffective treatment of sleep apnea and reduction or cessation of snoring. It can also lead to unwanted, unfavorable side effects as
Jaw joint pain
Jaw muscle pain
Loosening of individual teeth
Repositioning of individual teeth
Permanent protrusion of the lower jaw
Successful treatment is best defined as
Maximum effective treatment of the condition
User-friendly, so it is used daily
Minimal unwanted side effects
An appropriate oral device will be comfortable to wear, easy to place and remove, easy to change its settings (when appropriate), easy to clean and, most importantly, effective.
If you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, snores, grinds their teeth, or has TMJ problems, an oral appliance may be very helpful. The above information is intended to assist you in your process of seeking and obtaining professional care. These are serious problems so don't hesitate get help today.
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