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Sleep Apnea Appliance

A sleep apnea appliance, also known as a mandibular advancement device (MAD) or oral appliance therapy (OAT), is a dental device used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring.

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Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep due to a blockage in the airway. These interruptions, called apneas, can lead to reduced oxygen levels in the blood and disrupted sleep patterns, resulting in symptoms such as daytime fatigue, morning headaches, and irritability.
A sleep apnea appliance is designed to reposition the jaw and tongue to prevent the collapse of the soft tissues at the back of the throat, thus keeping the airway open during sleep. This helps to improve airflow and reduce the frequency and severity of apneas and snoring.
There are several types of sleep apnea appliances available, but the most common design is a mandibular advancement device (MAD). MADs are custom-fitted oral appliances that resemble mouthguards or dental splints. They work by gently advancing the lower jaw (mandible) forward, which in turn helps to increase the space at the back of the throat and prevent airway collapse.

Sleep apnea appliances are typically prescribed for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea who have difficulty tolerating continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or prefer a more convenient and portable treatment option. They are custom-fabricated by a dentist or sleep specialist and require regular follow-up appointments to monitor their effectiveness and make any necessary adjustments.

While sleep apnea appliances can be effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea and improving sleep quality, they are not suitable for everyone. It is essential to undergo a thorough evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment for your specific sleep apnea symptoms and medical history.

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