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Oral Appliance Therapy in Westchester NY

Dr. Brisman, a Chappaqua Dentist, talking with a patient about the dental procedures we offer

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A good night’s sleep is linked to higher levels of happiness and health. Unfortunately, not everyone can get the sleep they deserve. Problems like sleep apnea, snoring, bruxism and TMJ syndrome can all disrupt your sleep while negatively impacting oral health.

At Chappaqua Dentistry, we help people treat these conditions through oral appliance therapy. Here’s a closer look at what oral appliance therapy is, how it works and the unique benefits it brings to patients.

What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?

In oral appliance therapy, the patient puts a custom-fitted appliance (similar to a retainer or mouth guard) in their mouth while they sleep. This device then supports the jaw or tongue in a way that prevents the airway from collapsing. By maintaining this position, it can reduce snoring, prevent teeth grinding and encourage a deeper sleep.

Before beginning oral appliance therapy, the Chappaqua Dentistry team will ask you questions and determine whether you’re a good candidate. Then, we’ll create a comfortable, well-fitting appliance that meets the exact proportions of your mouth.

What Does Oral Appliance Therapy Treat?

Here are a few of the problems that oral appliance therapy can address.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a patient’s breathing is interrupted, consequently disrupting their sleep. While there are different variations, the most common one is obstructive sleep apnea. In this condition, the tongue and throat muscles become so relaxed during sleep that the upper airway ends up blocked. When left unaddressed, sleep apnea can lead to the following problems:

  • Snoring: If the upper airway is obstructed, it can cause heavy snoring. This is especially disruptive if you share a room with another person.
  • Lack of sleep: It’s common for people with obstructive sleep apnea to wake up multiple times throughout the night. Lack of sleep is linked to issues like poor immunity, high blood pressure and depression.
  • Heart and organ issues: Recurrent sleep apnea lowers the flow of oxygen to organs and interferes with regular heart rhythms.

If you struggle with sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy can help. First, the Chappaqua Dentistry team will make an impression of your teeth. Then, we’ll create a custom appliance that will stop your tongue from blocking your throat. Alternatively, the device may push your lower jaw forward, which also clears the airway.


It’s normal to grind your teeth when you’re anxious, stressed or frustrated. However, teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can become a problem when it’s excessive. While you may be able to control it during the day, many people grind their teeth unconsciously while they sleep. Over time, this can lead to issues like tooth sensitivity, damage and jaw pain.

It’s possible to grind your teeth at night and not even realize it. Thus, it’s important to look out for the following symptoms:

  • Cuts or sores in the mouth
  • Tooth damage or sensitivity
  • Headaches or jaw pain
  • Difficulty sleeping

If you believe you’re suffering from bruxism, it’s important to seek customized treatment — over the counter mouth guards and devices aren’t designed to fit the unique contours of your mouth, which means they won’t effectively stop grinding. At Chappaqua Dentistry, we can craft an individualized oral appliance that will evenly spread bite force and prevent damage.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

The jawbone is connected to the skull through the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). When this joint is in pain (known as TMJ dysfunction), it can be difficult to talk, chew or even smile. There are no shortage of causes for TMJ dysfunction — it can arise due to anything from an injury and stress to bruxism and poor posture. To diagnose this condition, look out for the following symptoms:

  • Tender jaw
  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Locked jaw
  • Swelling face

Oral appliance therapy can help reduce the pain of TMJ dysfunction by lowering the pressure exerted on the jaw. Not only does this help relieve pain, but it also prevents grinding and clenching while making it easier to chew and open the mouth.

Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy

There are a variety of treatments available for problems like sleep apnea, bruxism and TMJ dysfunction. However, many patients prefer oral appliance therapy due to its unique benefits, which include:

  • Easy usage: Oral appliances are simple, easy and effective. After the Chappaqua Dentistry team creates your custom device, it will fit seamlessly in your mouth before you sleep.
  • Portability: Oral appliances are small and can be easily carried, enabling patients to use them wherever they go.
  • Reduced noise: Many sleep problems cause snoring, which can be disruptive if you share a room. Oral appliances help lower snoring and noise, promoting better sleep.
  • Minimally invasive: Unlike other treatments, oral appliance therapy doesn’t require surgery or any invasive techniques.
  • Increased privacy: Treatments like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines cause noise, which can be embarrassing if you’re sharing a room. Oral appliances, on the other hand, are noiseless and discrete.
  • Addresses root causes: Oral appliance therapy doesn’t just mitigate symptoms — it addresses the root cause of these conditions and aims to treat them for good.

It’s worth noting that oral appliance therapy can take some time to get used to. In the beginning, you may experience dry mouth, excess saliva or tooth sensitivity. You can minimize discomfort by getting a high-quality, well-fitting oral appliance from professionals like the Chappaqua Dentistry team.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

Do you have an oral health problem that’s inhibiting your sleep? Whether you’re struggling with sleep apnea or unintentionally grinding your teeth at night, the Chappaqua Dentistry team is here to help.

After asking questions and evaluating your teeth and mouth, we’ll devise a personalized treatment plan. If you’re a candidate for oral appliance therapy, you can trust our team to create a comfortable, custom device for your needs. Learn more about this unique treatment option by scheduling an appointment with our team today!