Oral devices (also called oral appliances or mandibular repositioning
devices) are sometimes used to treat obstructive
sleep apnea (OSA). They push the tongue and jaw
forward, which makes the airway larger and improves airflow. This also
decreases the chance that tissue will collapse and narrow the airway when you
breathe in. See a picture of a
mandibular repositioning device (MRD).
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common and serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops for 10 seconds or more during sleep. The disorder results in decreased oxygen in the blood and can briefly awaken sleepers throughout the night. Sleep apnea has many different possible causes.
In adults, the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is excess weight and obesity, which is associated with soft tissue of the mouth and throat. During sleep, when throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed,...