Several oral devices have been tested to treat people with snoring, including a tongue-retaining device that is worn while sleeping. It pushes the tongue and jaw forward, improving airflow. Changing the position of the lower jaw enlarges the airway and decreases the chance that it will collapse when you inhale. This may reduce snoring. This device is called a mandibular repositioning device.
Some oral breathing devices supply electrical stimulation to the throat muscles to prevent the airway from collapsing when you sleep.Research shows that oral breathing devices can reduce snoring.
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.
In the United States, oral devices to treat OSA cannot be sold over the counter. They must be prescribed by a physician and fitted by a dentist, oral surgeon or ENT who has sleep medicine experience.