The main way that oral appliances work is by preventing the tissues at the back of the throat and the base of the tongue from collapsing back into the airway. An oral appliance holds the lower jaw a little forward which results in a significant increase in the size of the airway at the back of the tongue and palate, sufficient to prevent snoring and allow for a refreshing sleep.
Benefits of oral appliances:
Snoring can have a huge impact on relationships with many couples sleeping in separate bedrooms. Many people also go to the expense of booking separate rooms when travelling.
Oral appliances are now universally regarded as the best available treatment for snoring and a frontline treatment sleep apnoea. Oral appliances are worn during sleep and work by holding the jaw slightly forward, so the tongue and tissues at the back of the throat don’t collapse and obstruct the airway during sleep and are no longer collapsing into the passage of airflow.
70% of people who regularly snore also have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in which the soft tissues in the throat, including the tongue, collapse against the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway and airflow stops or is reduced. When the blood oxygen level becomes low enough the brain sends a signal known as an arousal and the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears and the flow of air starts again, usually with a gasp. This sequence of events can occur all throughout sleep with most people unaware this is occurring.
Oral appliances can be used for treating mild to medium sleep apnoea. They work by comfortably holding the jaw slightly forward, preventing the tongue and tissues at the back of the throat from collapsing into the airways.