« Página Previa
Oral devices (also called oral appliances) are sometimes used to treat obstructive sleep apnea(OSA). They push the tongue and jaw forward, which makes the airway larger and improves airflow. This also reduces the chance that tissue will collapse and narrow the airway when you breathe in. Examples include a mandibular repositioning device(MRD) or a tongue-retaining device.
Oral breathing devices are sometimes a reasonable alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Although oral breathing devices generally do not work as well as CPAP, they may be considered for people who:footnote 1
Choose a dentist or orthodontist who has experience fitting these devices. And go back to your dentist for regular check-ups to make sure the device still fits well.
Oral breathing devices can improve sleep quality and reduce daytime sleepiness.footnote 2 The use of oral devices reduced the episodes of abnormal breathing in about half of the people who used them.footnote 1
Possible problems with devices that fit inside the mouth include:
If you use an oral breathing device to treat sleep apnea, use it every night. Excess saliva in your mouth and mild discomfort should become less bothersome with regular use.
An oral breathing device used for a child with sleep apnea must be refitted periodically as the child grows.
Ferguson KA, et al. (2006). Oral appliances for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea: A review. Sleep, 29(2): 244-262.
Hensley M, Ray C (2009). Sleep apnoea, search date May 2008. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerHasmeena Kathuria, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
Current as ofDecember 6, 2017
Current as of:
December 6, 2017
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Hasmeena Kathuria, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.