Mouthpieces, or oral appliances, are typically custom-fit devices that you wear while you sleep. There are two types of mouthpieces that work differently to open the upper airway. Some hybrid mouthpieces have features of both types.
- Mandibular repositioning mouthpieces are devices that cover the upper and lower teeth and hold the jaw in a position that prevents it from blocking the upper airway.
- Tongue retaining devices are mouthpieces that hold the tongue in a forward position to prevent it from blocking the upper airway.
Your doctor may prescribe a mouthpiece if you have mild sleep apnea or if your apnea occurs only when you are lying on your back. To get your mouthpiece, your doctor may recommend that you visit a dentist or an orthodontist, a type of dentist who specializes in correcting teeth or jaw problems. These specialists will ensure that the oral appliance is custom fit to your mouth and jaw.