Three Ways Orthodontic Treatment Can Help With Sleep Apnea

A good night’s sleep is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Inadequate sleep, or not attaining REM sleep, can affect your body, mood, concentration, and thinking.

You can enjoy a night of complete rest if you can breathe properly while sleeping. However, some people have breathing trouble while sleeping, such as snoring. Various factors can cause snoring, including sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder. Its three types are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): Relaxing of soft tissue and muscles in the throat blocks one’s airway while sleeping. Abnormalities in the airway’s bone structure can also cause this condition.
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA): Nervous system or brain issues can affect your breathing when sleeping.
  • Mixed sleep apnea: This condition is a combination of OSA and CSA

Some orthodontic issues can also cause sleep apnea. They include tooth misalignment, dental arch issue, and jaw misalignment. An orthodontist can examine your condition and recommend various treatments.

Orthodontic Treatments of Sleep Apnea

An orthodontist can recommend any of these three treatments:

  1. Braces and aligners: These devices can treat OSA caused by misaligned teeth. They move the teeth to areas where they won’t block one’s airway. An orthodontist can recommend these options to treat both adults and children’s sleep apnea. Aligners offer a less noticeable appearance than braces.
  2. Rapid palate expander: This device can treat OSA in kids. It contains a part that bridges across the child’s upper jaw, widening the space in their upper jaw. An orthodontist can affix it to a child’s upper molars using cemented bands or bonding.
  3. Mandibular advancement splint: This custom-fit brace modifies jaw alignment while sleeping. It moves the lower jaw slightly downward and forward, widening the airway. This event reduces the prevalence of OSA symptoms.

These orthodontic solutions can be more helpful than a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. They are smaller, quieter, and less noticeable than a CPAP machine. You may need orthodontic treatments and a CPAP machine in some cases. However, orthodontic treatments often eliminate the need for the machine.


Virginia Orthodontic Partners is a DreamSleep Certified Provider, meaning our staff has undergone extensive, hands-on training to screen for and treat sleep-related breathing disorders. Contact us today online or call (703) 750-9393