Oral appliances look like the mouth guards worn by football players. The oral appliances for treating sleep apnea and snoring are specially designed for that purpose.

The appliance is worn in the mouth during sleep. Most appliances work by positioning the lower jaw slightly forward of its usual rest position. This small change is, in many people, enough to keep the airway open during sleep.

You can simulate the effect of an oral appliance with a simple experiment. If you make a snoring sound right now and, in the middle of it, thrust your jaw forward, you will see that the snoring sound stops.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has endorsed oral appliance therapy for selected patients with sleep apnea.

Many authorities recommend routine assessment for sleep apnea after oral appliance therapy has been applied. See the caution below.

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