SomnoGuard AP before and after fitting

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea are created by changes in the airway that typically develop over time that restrict the natural flow of air while you breathe.  This is often caused by the airway being reduced in size or obstructed all together by a narrowing of the airway at the base of the tongue or the level of the soft palate.  Oral Appliance Therapy has been recognized as a useful option to maintain an open airway by restricting the rearward collapse of the tongue during sleep by holding, or advancing, the lower jaw in a more forward position.

This option has been recognized by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to be a safe and reliable option for many patients suffering from primary snoring, mild OSA (AHI <15) or selected cases of moderate OSA (AHI < 30).  The SomnoGuard AP allows for lateral movement, so it is also helpful for those with mild bruxism (or “teeth grinding”).

Patients interested in SomnoGuard AP therapy will first meet with a Snore Shop clinician for a free consultation to determine if the oral appliance is a viable option. If you decide to go forward with the Somnoguard AP, you will be scheduled with an appointment for custom fitting of the appliance with a Snore Shop clinician.  After a period of acclimation to ensure comfort with the appliance, the lower portion of the device is slowly titrated forward to eliminate snoring and obstructive symptoms. Once an optimal position is found, repeat sleep study with the appliance in place will be arranged to ensure effective control of sleep related breathing dysfunction.

There are side effects with oral appliances.  With the mouth maintained in an open position all night, some people may experience dry mouth or excessive drooling through the night.  This will be common at the beginning, but generally improves.  There can also be initial problems with jaw discomfort as you acclimate to therapy, but this should settle within one to two weeks once you are in “final position”.  If it does not, please contact your referring physician for advice.

Over time, wearing an oral appliance, even those fit and customized by dentists, can lead to shifting teeth (and changing your bite) or jaw joint dysfunction. We encourage all patients using any oral appliance to continue follow up with their dentist to prevent adverse long term issues with appliance use.

Even with 100% compliance with therapy, oral appliances remain a static therapeutic option in the face of a dynamic airway disorder.  Obstructive sleep apnea can worsen over time.  All patients managing sleep disordered breathing with an oral appliance are encouraged to be rechecked with (at the very least) a home sleep study every one to two years to ensure good control of their SDB. CPAP users have a built-in “counter” to determine breathing parameters every night they wear the mask.  Oral appliance users do not have that benefit, and therefore intermittent checks are required to be sure the SDB is still well controlled.­­

Click here for patient information on Somnoguard AP.

Click here for video link for fitting the Somnoguard AP.