Many of us have significant others in our life that snore. Many these people also have mild sleep apnea. At the minimum, they make life difficult for others in the household. At the worst, they may be adding an additional risk for heart disease.
Many people cannot tolerate the CPAP machine. It may be overkill for mild sleep apnea anyway. For these people, a simple oral device that advances the lower jaw to clear the airway might be just the thing.
It takes a sturdy appliance to hold a patient’s jaw forward all night long. In our experience, the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) appliance is the best of the bunch. Not only is it sturdy, but its adjustment features allow each patient to find the perfect advancement position for comfort and effectiveness.
I used this device to reduce my own snoring for several years before orthodontics. Once my braces were off, I procrastinated about having a new one constructed, until my wife complained enough. Finally I had the current improved version of the TAP constructed, which is much more comfortable. My wife reports my snoring is down significantly.
These things are not cheap. All totaled, they cost $1200. If you have had a sleep study, there is a chance that you may get your medical insurance to cover a portion of the cost.
Not everyone is a candidate for an intraoral sleep appliance. Almost all natural teeth must be present to anchor a device like the TAP. It is not possible to wear when undergoing orthodontics. For those who can wear them, however, oral appliances may offer relief to the snorer and loved ones who try to sleep in the same house!