Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Incomplete Resolution of Sleep Apnea Can Be Corrected With Tongue Tapper

I recently had a request from a Dentist about how the Tongue Tapper works. It is something that I add to an oral appliance on occasion when incomplete resolution of sleep apnea is a problem.

Don: Dr.S, In one of the recent AADSM forum discussions you mentioned a tongue tapper to help with tongue reflexes. Can you share how you do that with a MAD? Thank.

Dr Shapira Response:I use a 1 mm ortho spring wire from either the lower or upper appliance with a small composite or acrylic button that very lightly touches the posterior lateral surface of the tongue. If the tongue drops back and touches it elicits a protrusive reflex of the tongue.

Light touch not brute force similar to how tonsils cause tongue thrusts.

THERE ARE MANY ORAL AND PHARYNGEAL REFLEXES THAT CAN EFFECT BREATHING IN SLEEP. THE TONGUE TAPPER TAKES ADVANTAGE OF ONE OF THESE REFLEXES TO CREATE TONGUE PROTRUSION. ONE OF THE REASONS I LIKE THE TAP 1 APPLIANCE IS THAT IT ELIMINATES OR DECREASES RETRUSIVE TONGUE REFLEXES.

tHE MOSES APPLIANCE IS DESIGNED TO PREVENT RETRUSIVE REFLEXES AS WELL.

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posted by Dr Shapira at 7:01 AM