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).
Oral breathing devices are sometimes a reasonable alternative to
continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Although
oral breathing devices generally do not work as well as CPAP, they may be
considered for people who:1, 2
When Dave Williams fell asleep while stopped at a red light 12 years ago, he had to face up to a problem. "I was falling asleep at inappropriate times," says Williams, then 45, a business consultant in Cordova, Tenn. His doctor diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition in which breathing pauses repeatedly during sleep, and symptoms include loud snoring at night and sleepiness during the day.
"People who have sleep apnea typically don't have any problems with their breathing while they're...