Identifying the Appropriate Therapeutic Position of an Oral Appliance
Patient Guideline Summary
Publication Date: July 1, 2020
This patient summary means to discuss key recommendations from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) for the appropriate therapeutic position of an oral appliance. It is limited to adults 18 years of age and older and should not be used as a reference for children.
- Sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBDs) including sleep apnea (not breathing) can cause mood changes.
- There are several causes of disturbed sleep.
- One common cause of SRBDs is interrupted breathing due to obstruction of the upper airway.
- Symptoms include snoring, restless sleep, gasping, and spells of not breathing that interrupt sleep and cause excessive daytime sleepiness and decreased mental function. It can result in depression, irritability, high blood pressure, and decreased heart function.
- This patient summary focuses on positioning oral devices that keep the upper airway open.
- Testing options include:
- Pulse Oximetry using a fingertip device that measures the oxygen in the blood.
- Home Sleep Apnea that measures airflow, pulse oximetry, and breathing effort while asleep.
- Polysomnogram that monitors brain waves, oximetry, heart rate, breathing, and eye and leg movements during sleep.
- Once the obstruction is identified as the cause of disturbed sleep, a dentist will fit a device that moves the jaw forward, enlarging the upper airway.
- Changing sleeping position may also reduce apnea episodes.
- Repeated testing may be required to adjust the device for the best result.
- AADSM: Academy Of Dental Sleep Medicine
- SRBDs: Sleep-related Breathing Disorders
Sheats R, Essick G, Grosdidier J, Katz S, Kim C, Levine M, Patel I. Identifying the appropriate therapeutic position of an oral appliance. J Dent Sleep Med. 2020;7(4).
The information in this patient summary should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.