When Should I Try an Oral Appliance? Here Are the 2015 Guidelines!

After you have tried continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for at least 6 months and failed, only then you should try an oral appliance as the former corrects apnea (the cessation of respiration) and oxygen drops better. For snoring without the sleep apnea, an oral appliance will be the first choice, though. 

Do remember that sleeping with an oral appliance may aggravate your TMJ pain, cause drooling and gum irritation, and change your bite. You should also do a simple home sleep test with the oral appliance in place to make sure that the appliance is working.

What are the latest guidelines?

Well, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) commissioned a seven-member task force in the first half of 2015 to do a systematic review of the literature and develop recommendations.

What did they recommend?

  1. We recommend that sleep physicians prescribe oral appliances, rather than no therapy, for adult patients who request treatment of primary snoring (without obstructive sleep apnea).
  2. When oral appliance therapy is prescribed by a sleep physician for an adult patient with obstructive sleep apnea, we suggest that a qualified dentist use a custom, titratable appliance over non-custom oral devices.
  3. We recommend that sleep physicians consider prescribing an oral appliances, rather than no treatment, for adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea who are intolerant of CPAP therapy or prefer alternate therapy.
  4. We suggest that qualified dentists provide oversight— rather than no follow-up—of oral appliance therapy in adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea, to survey for dental-related side effects or occlusal changes and reduce their incidence.
  5. We suggest that sleep physicians conduct follow-up sleep testing to improve or confirm treatment efficacy, rather than conduct follow-up without sleep testing, for patients fitted with oral appliances.
  6. We suggest that sleep physicians and qualified dentists instruct adult patients treated with oral appliances for obstructive sleep apnea to return for periodic office visits— as opposed to no follow-up—with a qualified dentist and a sleep physician.

Questions? Drop us an email at SnoozeClinic@gmail.com