If you’re experiencing the disturbed sleep patterns associated with obstructive sleep apnea, there may be a simpler solution than the bulky machine often prescribed by physicians. Dr. Elaine Gorelik and the dental professionals at Trident Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Los Angeles often recommend their patients with sleep apnea try an intraoral device to open airways and prevent apneic symptoms. Make an appointment today using their online scheduling service to discover if this therapy is right for you.

request an appointment

What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when something partly or completely blocks your upper airway when you’re sleeping. This causes the muscles used for respiration to work harder. This extra effort to breathe through a narrowed airway causes the snoring or gasping sound that the body creates during apnea.

What are the symptoms of OSA?

Common symptoms of OSA include:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability and depression

What is the treatment for OSA?

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is often recommended for treating OSA. This therapy requires the use of a machine to supply a steady flow of air into a hose attached to a mask or nose piece that you wear throughout the night. The flow of air keeps your airways open.

CPAP is an effective treatment but many patients have difficulty getting used to the hose and mask and find the noise from the machine often interferes with their ability to fall asleep. The providers at Trident Dentistry have teamed with the experts at Sleep Group Solutions to offer intraoral appliances that alleviate OSA symptoms without the noise and other difficulties associated CPAP.

How does an intraoral appliance help?

Intraoral appliances rest in your mouth as you sleep and pull the jaw slightly forward. This opens the airway, allowing positive airflow to occur through the nasal duct. There are a variety of options available with intraoral appliances, including those with thinner centerpieces that allow more room for the tongue and increased lateral mobility.

One such device is the nocturnal oral airway dilator (NORAD). The NORAD is FDA-approved for the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. These are referred to as “boil and fit” devices because that’s how you prepare them to fit them at home. There’s no waiting for custom lab fabrication. Since it’s less bulky than some intraoral devices, it may make it easier for you to adjust to this appliance.

Do intraoral devices really help with sleep apnea?

Many patients who have tried intraoral devices for OSA report these devices are as effective at relieving symptoms as CPAP. Patients having difficulty with CPAP typically learn to wear the appliance comfortably and find it easier to adjust to than the compressor, tubes, and mask required for CPAP therapy.