A person's airway is like a lock and for those with sleep apnea, the airway gets closed off while asleep and locking shut. In treating sleep apnea, that airway needs to unlock and open again, says Dr. Clay Hansen, a dentist in Moscow, Idaho.
There are several parts required to get this airway opened up. Putting plastic on your teeth is an important part but there are other parts involved, including moving your jaw forward and how far forward needs to be determined, Dr. Hansen says.
Another important component is how far open your jaw should be and these combinations of parts are different for every patient. There are a lot of factors involved in opening up the airway ideally and effectively that can't simply be addressed by buying something online without the oversight from a properly-trained dentist. In Dr. Hansen's office, he uses an ultrasound to measure the internal size of the airway and with the ultrasound, the jaw is put in different positions to find the most effective opening of the airway.
Dr. Clay Hansen is a dentist in Moscow, Idaho with Palouse View Dental. He is a leading sleep expert and spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.