Oral Sleep Appliances


An oral sleep appliance is a device that indirectly opens the airway near the base of the tongue. This allows air to move more freely, which can reduce snoring and episodes of apnea. There are two main types of oral sleep appliances.

The first device is a soft material that simply moves the tongue forward by suctioning onto the tip of the tongue. The body of the appliance sits outside of the mouth. Its effect is similar to sticking out your tongue and holding it there. These devices are generally available in different sizes.

The other type of appliance is similar to a mouthguard for the upper and lower teeth and causes the mandible (lower jaw) to move forward. These aids are referred to as mandibular advancement devices and are custom-made for each patient. The device is made of a special acrylic that advances the tongue and soft tissues of the throat to open the airway to assist with normal breathing during sleep. Some types of mandibular advancement devices can be “titrated,” or slowly adjusted to allow the patient to gradually advance the lower jaw under the dentist’s supervision to improve the effectiveness of the device. We can create both types of oral appliance at our Bemidji dental office.