My husband snores like crazy at night and nothing we've tried so far has worked like the breathing strips or the chin strap. I want him to maybe get an oral device. How can he get one and how do we know which one he needs?
Doctors Answers (5)
An examination by a dentist who makes these types of oral appliances is needed to first see if he is a candidate for one. Before the dental visit, though, a sleep study should be performed at a sleep center to rule out obstructive sleep apnea.
Before any type of oral appliance can be made, a diagnosis needs to be made. I would recommend treatment from a Board Certified Sleep Physician. A consultation is needed and then if a sleep study or peg is indicated, one will be ordered. If the diagnosis is obstructive sleep apnea and you are a candidate for an appliance, then you and your dentist can discuss your oral appliance options.
I would consult with your dentist regarding a referral to a dentist who specializes in fitting dental devices to help with sleep apnea. These devices are designed to advance the lower jaw and prevent the soft palate and tongue from collapsing and closing the airway. There is no "one" good device. All of them have their attributes but beware of developing tempromandibular joint issues. Your dentist will help with that issue. "Breathing strips" don't work for snoring because snoring comes from the pharynx which is behind and below the tongue, not in the nose. The chin straps may keep his mouth shut but he will snore through the nose. The gold standard for treatment of sleep apnea is the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). Once your husband adjusts to the CPAP, he will feel better, you will be happier and his chance for stroke and heart attack will be significantly reduced.
Oral devices are sometimes recommended for snoring. The most effective way to determine your husbands needs is to have a sleep study.
He will need to be evaluated by a sleep physician, have a baseline polysomnogram (sleep study) to determine if he has apnea and its severity then the sleep specialist would determine if he is a candidate for an oral device. If so, a referral would be made to a Dentist practicing Dental Sleep Medicine.