A relapse of the tongue into the airway is one of the primary causes of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. With the dental device, the tongue, which is attached to the lower jaw, is maintained forward by advancement of the lower jaw. There are various types of devices, and they are generally comfortable, as they are similar to wearing a custom mouth guard or orthodontic retainer. Average success rate for this device is 85 percent in eliminating snoring and can eliminate mild to moderate apnea, and improve severe apnea.
Note: There are some devices which combine with a CPAP unit, which also eliminates severe apneas.
RADIO FREQUENCY SURGERY – Somnoplasty®
Snoring also occurs when the floppy tissues in the airway relax during sleep and vibrate. Besides the tongue, most snoring is caused by enlarged soft palate, uvula, and tonsils. Level of snoring can be aggravated by excessive weight, alcohol intake, and smoking. Highlights or benefits of Somnoplasty over other surgical treatment methods, such as LAUP or UPPP procedures, include:
This is a relatively invasive surgery, which necessitates hospitalization, general anesthesia, and cutting and/or removal of the palate, uvula, tonsils, or other offending tissues. Complication rate for this procedure is higher, which can include bleeding, infection, and regurgitation. Success rate for treatment of snoring is 80 to 85 percent, and successful treatment of significant apnea less than 50 percent.
MMA – Maxillo-Mandibular Advancement Surgery
This is a surgical procedure requiring hospitalization. The treatment consists of moving the upper and lower jaws forward to eliminate any obstruction caused by the tongue and palate. Success rate has been reported at 100 percent. See Orthognathic Surgery for more information.