Dental Appliances to Help with Snoring and Sleep Apnoea

AditiDr Aditi Desai treats patients at 76 Harley Street for sleep disorders.

What causes sleep apnoea and snoring?

Snoring is a sign that you are not able to breath freely while you are asleep. Snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) are caused by obstruction of your airway and breathing control mechanisms.

How can dental appliances help?

Dental appliances are used to prevent snoring and sleep apnoea by modifying the position of your lower jaw during sleep and so improve your ability to breath.

How do they work?

They help by stopping the lower jaw from falling backwards during sleep. When the lower jaw is correctly positioned the tongue is held forwards, collapse of the soft palate is prevented and the upper airway space is increased.

The use of dental appliances is simple, non invasive, reversible and cost effective and can be the basis of definitive life long treatment.

Are these appliances successful?

Success rates vary depending on several factors, but success rates of over 90% have been reported in the treatment of simple snoring. Most patients successfully adapt to them in a few weeks.

Are sleep apnoea and snoring worth treating?

The quality of sleep is improved for you and your partner. Patients have reported increased energy levels and a decrease in tiredness.

Untreated sleep apnoea is linked to many potentially serious medical conditions including strokes and heart disease.

Can dental appliances help in all cases?

The effectiveness of dental appliances depends on several factors: the severity of the sleep disorder, weight, skeletal factors, airway anatomy and your tolerance of the appliance. Your medical history, as well as cigarette and alcohol consumption, are also relevant.

The appliances are generally prescribed for simple snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnoea. However they can also be used to treat moderate – severe apnoea as an alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or surgery.

Dental appliances will only be provided after detailed examination and screening. In some cases, a specialist medical examination may need to be carried out. Such assessments may involve overnight monitoring at home to evaluate your sleep cycle, possible breathing problems, the degree of snoring and the severity of any sleep apnoea.