In an article this month in the Journal of the American Dental Association, the use of oral appliances in sleep apnea cases was evaluated.
Oral appliances are used to help reduce the number of apnea episodes that occur in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, in other words, their air ways are blocked when sleeping, making it difficult to breath. This study found that with oral appliances they were able to reduce the apnea-hypopnea index by 50% and that apnea occurred less than 10 times per hour. The use of oral appliances for sleep apnea, however, was only really effective for those whose sleep apnea is mild to moderate. If you have sleep apnea, ask your dentist today about the possibility of an oral appliance to treat your apnea.