Two Main Types of Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea

Experienced dental professional Avi Weisfogel, DDS, owns Dental Sleep Masters, a New Jersey-based company that endeavors to address sleep-disturbed breathing. Dr. Avi Weisfogel and his organization help the medical community understand that oral appliances are a treatment option every bit as viable as others, if not more so, for patients with sleep apnea.

Despite the multitude of treatment options for individuals with sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy is among the most effective for mild to moderate cases. Tongue retaining devices (TRDs) and mandibular advancement devices (MADs) are a couple of main types of appliances that are used for this type of treatment.

TRDs utilize a suction bulb that keeps the tongue in a forward position and prevents it from falling into the throat during sleep. At first, they are often less comfortable than MADs, but they have lower rates of therapeutic complications.

MADs function in a manner similar to TRDs in that they prevent the tongue from falling into the throat by keeping it in a forward position. However, they achieve this by repositioning the entire lower jaw, causing the tongue to move forward more indirectly. Since these devices hold the lower jaw in place, the mouth is much more stable and less likely to open. Furthermore, by stimulating muscles around the tongue, TRDs not only facilitate the organ’s rigidity but strengthen muscles in the surrounding area as well.