ORAL DEVICE THERAPY

Sleep apnea patients should know that the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends oral appliance therapy (OAT) as a first-line treatment for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea cases. If you are experiencing severe symptoms and cannot tolerate CPAP therapy, OAT is still endorsed as the second most effective choice.

 

At Moonlight Sleep REMedies, dental sleep practitioner Dr. Mika Miyamoto, DMD, has helped thousands of patients across the Pacific Northwest get rid of snoring, and sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. Our office in Portland (Oregon) serves the surrounding communities of Beaverton, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Tigard, Milwaukie, Hillsboro, West Linn, and more.

What are Oral Appliances for Healthy Sleep?

An oral appliance is a device you wear in your mouth at night. It is similar to an orthodontic retainer or a sports mouth guard but designed with advanced technology for sleep apnea treatment. We recognize that a patient not only has a different dental structure but unique needs as well. Therefore, we offer various oral appliance options rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.

There are two main types of devices: mandibular advancement devices (MAD) and tongue-retaining devices. A MAD moves your lower jaw slightly forward and downward to maintain an open airway, while a tongue-retaining device holds your tongue in a position that prevents it from blocking the airway during sleep.

We provide custom-made, FDA-approved appliances customized to meet the specific requirements of each patient. These appliances are more comfortable to use than a CPAP machine, and many of our patients notice a substantial reduction in their snoring and other symptoms from the very first usage.

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How Oral Apply Therapy Works

With a medically prescribed oral appliance, the fit is everything. This is why Dr. Miyamoto uses a three-step process to ensure you get the best possible solution:

Step 1: The Physical Examination

During your second appointment with us, Dr. Miyamoto will closely examine the structure of your mouth, throat, and jaw. She takes her time to see how your jaw moves, how your tongue sits, and if there is anything in your oral anatomy that could make your snoring, TMJ, or sleep apnea worse (such as an oversized tongue or a narrow airway). This exam lays the foundation for everything that comes next.

Step 2: The CBCT Scan

A CBCT scan allows us to see your airway in 3D, giving Dr. Miyamoto a comprehensive view of your mouth, jaw, throat, nasal passages and sinus cavity from every angle. Unlike traditional X-rays, the CBCT scan shows the volume and shape of your airway, highlighting areas of blockage that could contribute to your sleep apnea. This level of detail helps us customize your oral appliance precisely to your needs.

Step 3: Eccovision® (Pharyngometer/Rhinometer)

Dr. Miyamoto also uses the Eccovision® Acoustic Diagnostic Imaging System to get a real sense of how air travels through your nose and throat when you breathe during sleep. It has two key components, the Pharyngometer and the Rhinometer, each designed to measure different parts of your airway.

The Pharyngometer utilizes sound waves to map out the shape and size of your airway. As you breathe, it measures how these sound waves travel through your throat to pinpoint areas where the airway might be narrow or blocked. On the other hand, the Rhinometer focuses on your nose.

It works on a similar principle, using sound waves to measure how easily air can pass through your nasal passages. Both tell Dr. Miyamoto not just where the problem is but how severe it is, so the appliance she chooses and makes for you is just right.

Sleep Better Every Night with a Personalized Oral Appliance

Moonlight Sleep REMedies has successfully used oral appliances to treat:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

With obstructive sleep apnea, the throat muscles relax too much, blocking the airway and disrupting your breathing, sometimes even hundreds of times through the night. Our custom oral appliance holds your jaw in a position that keeps the airway open, so the air can move freely.

Snoring

You snore when air cannot move smoothly through your throat while you sleep. An oral device made for you adjusts how your jaw is positioned, smoothing out the path for air to flow. This can significantly quiet down or even stop the snoring altogether.

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorder

A TMJ disorder occurs when there is trouble with the joint connecting your jaw to your skull. This could be due to stress, injury, or something else. A dental device can help by easing the tension in your facial muscles overnight and stopping you from grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw.

Think of oral appliance therapy for snoring or sleep apnea as if you were performing CPR. One of the first things you do is open up the airway by bringing the lower jaw down and forward. If you can picture this, then you can better understand exactly how an oral appliance works while you sleep.

With a thorough consultation, you can get started on the path to finding lasting relief from your symptoms.