Oral appliances have a definite role in the management of selected patients with sleep apnea and/or snoring. The appliance will not cure the apnea and/or snoring but works non-surgically to realign the jaw and/or tongue to keep the airway open. Its intention is to prevent the apnea and/or snoring from occurring during sleep and so it must be worn each night to produce the desired effect. Regardless of how long it is worn, the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea or snoring will return when the appliance use is discontinued. There are no guarantees that an appliance will be successful in every patient due to physiologic and anatomic variations and patient tolerance of the appliance.
Oral appliances that treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are devices worn in the mouth, similar to orthodontic retainers or sports mouthguards. They have several advantages over other forms of therapy. Oral appliances are comfortable, easy to wear and care for, and non-invasive. They are small and convenient, making them easy to carry with you when you travel.
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