Researchers have found that wearing a mouth appliance designed to move the lower jaw forward can be an effective way to reduce snoring and improve sleep apnea symptoms.
The study found that patients who used the two-piece device, known as the Thornton Adjustable Positioner II (TAP II), experienced decreases in snores per hour and snoring loudness, along with a decrease in the percentage of palatal snoring events.
There was also a decrease in oxygen desaturation events (where oxygen levels are decreased by four percent or more from normal levels), according to the study's authors.
Based on these findings, the authors recommend further studies on the mechanisms of oral appliances, as well as the dynamic relationships within the pharyngeal airway in patients with obstructive sleep apnea and snoring problems.
Forty-five percent of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 25 percent are habitual snorers. Problem snoring is more frequent in males and overweight people, and usually grows worse with age.
More than 300 devices are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as cures for snoring.
The study's authors are Stephanie Stouder, DDS; Loren Jones, MD; Scott Brietzke, MD, MPH; and Eric A. Mair, MD, FAAP. They are associated with the U.S. Air Force's Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, US.
The stud appears in the journal Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.