Sleep Apnea Services in Little Rock and Maumelle

Sleep apnea is the temporary cessation of breathing during sleep. Often times indicated by snoring, typically sufferers will awake gasping for breath. Sleep apnea may occur repeatedly, resulting in a poor night's sleep and daytime drowsiness. The disease can cause serious health issues such as increased blood pressure and the restriction of oxygen to the brain and blood stream. 

Oral Appliances

There are many different oral devices on the market to treat sleep apnea.  Many are "tongue retaining devices," others are "mandibular repositioning dental appliances," or devices that move the lower jaw forward. Both of these options serve to reduce the likelihood of the tongue falling backward and blocking the airway. 

There are more than 80 different oral devices on the market for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and snoring, according the dental sleep medicine web site "Snoring Isn’t Sexy." The great preponderance of them are varieties of “mandibular repositioning dental appliances,” devices that move the lower jaw forward. Most of the remainder are “tongue retaining appliances.” Both serve to reduce the likelihood of the sleeper’s tongue falling backward far enough to block the airway. 

Oral appliances are most effective in the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea although they do provide a treatment alternative for patients with severe OSA who cannot or will not tolerate positive airway pressure therapy. Despite their double-retainer-like appearance, oral appliances are said to be comfortable to use. Sometimes for more complicated sleep apnea an oral appliance and CPAP are used in combination.

Oral devices used to treat OSA must be prescribed by a physician, and fitted by a dentist, oral surgeon or ENT who has sleep medicine experience.  Dr. Austin's office is able to prescribe and fit these devices. 

Are you ready to schedule a sleep apnea appointment with Austin Family Dentistry? Begin by filling out our sleep apnea history exam and workup online patient form here.


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