What is the role of oral appliances in the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB)?

Updated: Feb 13, 2020
  • Author: Vittorio Rinaldi, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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In some individuals, a mouthpiece may improve the anatomy of the airway to the point where snoring or mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can be corrected. Oral appliances, or mandibular advancement devices (MADs), can be an effective alternative for mild and medium-to-moderate OSA syndrome (OSAS), but they require strict monitoring because of differences in individual response to this therapy. [62, 63]

Many types of oral appliances have been designed for the treatment of sleep apnea. Most are custom fitted to the teeth of both dental arches to reposition the mandible and to enlarge the retropalatal and retrolingual airway space. However, consistent patient tolerance for this treatment is relatively low, and it is less effective than continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in reducing the frequency of apnea and hypopnea. [64]

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