I've had this dental appliance (it's a herbst) for a while and I used to have trouble getting used to it. So I got fed up and stopped using it and then started having dreams very often, almost every night constantly for months. Now I'm using it again because my sister told me she uses a mouthguard to stop her grinding and she noticed it she started having less dreams so I decided to try again. Well good news! I'm finally able to fall asleep with my dental appliance.... or I think I am. I have no problem just resting there with it in until I fall asleep. But then now the problem I have is I wake up and I find it on my nightstand the next morning! So now my problem is I have trouble keeping it in my mouth but I also have trouble remembering that I took it out at all! I would go to bed and not remember taking the dental appliance at all even though I apparently did. But I have no idea when I took it out, if I took it out before falling asleep or during the night or just when I was waking up. I've been trying the appliance again for about a week now and this is still an issue every morning. I've read about how you just have to get used to it and now I'm making more efforts to get used to it so I have no problem but maybe I still do have a problem with it and just don't realize it? Why am I taking it out every night? Why don't I remember doing that? When during the night or morning am I doing it? More importantly, how do I stop doing that at all? I've heard of one solution: duct tape my mouth but I'm sure that'll hurt like heck if I put it on then take it off the next morning!
Ok I can see some people here aren't supportive of oral devices at all as this discussion keeps talking about pap machines as if I should forget about the oral device and just move on to the machine. I didn't say 14 to 9 was a success. But it is an improvement, no? If the oral device wasn't working at all then I think my sleep dentist would've recommended that I move on to the machine instead of advancing the oral device again. Perhaps I should move this discussion to the "Problems you're having with your oral device" thread even though I'm not having problems with it because people in that thread appear to be more supportive about the oral device treatment. Oral devices aren't that bad and they have helped a lot of people with mild and moderate sleep apnea. My sleep apnea is more mild than it used to be now because of the oral device and that the sleep dentist has advanced it only a couple of times or in other words, only by a couple of millimeters.
And I'm sorry but the responses so far didn't really answer my question about the chin touching the chest issue. They just made it sound like I have to use the machine and forget about the device even though there's been some improvement.
So I've been diagnosed with mild sleep apnea. I'm using the herbst oral device to treat it. I've had another sleep study to evaluate how that's going. The good news is that it seems to be working. The first study determined that my AHI was 14.1 (barely mild, I know) and that was when I was diagnosed and without the oral device. So I had my sleep dentist keep advancing it a few times. The last few months, I started sleeping a lot better but still wake up for just a minute or two or not even that long and have taken a sleeping pill a lot less than I used to. The sleep dentist decided to do another sleep study WITH the oral device. The study showed that my AHI went down to 9.6 so the oral device seems to be helping. Now my issue is that I still wake up right after my last appointment for another advancement for the oral device and seem like I do after a couple of hours of falling asleep. I don't know if it's because I'm still getting used to the last advancement but I'm concerned about the position of my chin. If I lift my chin up while sleeping on my stomach, I can feel my airway open up more and the back of my throat not really touching anything as if the air can get through better. If I just lay there casually without trying to do anything, I feel the back of my throat touching something as if the air isn't getting through better. My chin seem to be closer to my chest as my neck isn't up enough. So I figured my chin needs to be away more from my chest. I know that's easy to do if you're on your back but what about when you're on your side or stomach? I've heard of neck pillows but I don't know if that would help stomach sleepers. Isn't a neck pillow used if you sleep on your back? Any of you a stomach sleeper? How do you deal and do you feel like the back of your throat is touching something, not allowing air to get through into your body? I also wonder about how the CPAP is supposed to help if your airway isn't completely open. If your airway isn't really open, then how is the air from the CPAP machine supposed to get through your throat and into your lungs when you got throat muscles blocking your airway?
I remembered that I had another type of mouth guard to prevent grinding. It's only for the top teeth and much thinner and I had no trouble at all sleeping with it in. So I decided to try it for one night to see if I can tell the difference. While I can tell it's thinner and lighter, I still struggled with it in to go back to sleep! So I guess it's not the bulkiness or the size that's the problem. I don't know why I can't get back to sleep with my oral device. When I go to bed, I can fall asleep with it in just fine but it's hard to go back to sleep when I wake up. Once in a great while, I can go back to sleep with it in so I can't figure out what the difference is. I have tried sleeping without it just for a couple of nights and have had no trouble at all going back to sleep so I figured it was the oral device that's causing the problem. If it's not the bulkiness or the size then i don't know what it is.
I got my mouth device in February and I'm still struggling to get used to it! It doesn't hurt, not too tight or doesn't fall out or anything like that. It's just so big! Once in a great while, I sleep through the night with it and I have no idea how but most nights, I can't. So I have to either take a sleeping pill or take it out and I don't like depending on sleeping pills and don't want to keep taking it every single night because I'm afraid my doctor is going to eventually take me off them. I read sleeping pills are only supposed to be on temporary basis. I don't understand. When I go to bed, I can fall asleep just fine but then I wake up once every hour until about the third hour then I have enough of it. I worry I'm not going to get enough sleep if I keep waking up every hour because eventually I won't be able to go back to sleep. I would put the clock away so I don't have to look at it as advised on many web pages for sleeping problems but I worry that I'm not getting enough sleep and what if that makes me unable to fall asleep when I worry about that? How can anyone possibly sleep through the night consistently with a big thing in their mouths? When I'm eating, even I don't have that much in my mouth. How do people get used to wearing an oral device and how do they sleep through the night with it in all night? It's very hard to relax in bed when I know I have it in. It's just not natural.
Has anyone ever noticed a difference in your sleep apnea when you're sleeping on your stomach or a difference in your snoring? I am a chronic stomach sleeper (been sleeping on my stomach my whole life) and I still have sleep apnea and still snore like crazy. I was wondering if this is an indication that there's still an issue with the throat muscles blocking the airway or if sleeping in this position can still cause snoring. The only way I understand why we snore is if our airway is partially blocked but how can it be blocked if we're sleeping on our stomachs? I have allergies and sinus issues (mainly sinus headaches) so I was wondering if that could be causing the snoring or sleep apnea even though I lay on my stomach. I know snoring can indicate sleep apnea but is it possible snoring could cause sleep apnea? Could "nasal snoring" or snoring from sinus issues cause sleep apnea? I've recorded myself sleeping and when I snore, it sounds nasal or it sounds like I'm trying to blow my nose!
It does sound like you definitely have sleep apnea and it wouldn't surprise me if your sinus trouble is causing your sleep apnea. I'm not sure about all the human anatomy but I would think that trouble with sinuses can cause sleep apnea, affecting your throat muscles. As for getting the dental appliance, I'm kinda in the same boat as you. I also have sinus trouble and allergies and I just got a dental appliance. I've been recording myself and found myself to be snoring like crazy! So I don't know if the appliance is the answer or if I need to consider cpap machine or other treatments or if I just need to have the appliance moved up another millimeter or more. I'm supposed to go back to my sleep dentist later this month so I'd like to see what he has to say about what i should do next.
Well the appliance has a gap in between the top and bottom plates so it's easy to breathe through your mouth. I guess that's a good thing if you have a cold and your nose is all stopped up. I used my voice recorder on my phone to record my snoring and man, do I snore! It's like I can snore all night long without hardly stopping. Not sure if that meant I stopped breathing or I just stopped snoring for a bit. The snoring does definitely sound pretty nasal. So you're right, the oral doesn't seem to be helping with the snoring and I don't know if that's a real big deal but I know it can be an indicator that I still have sleep apnea. I recorded myself the last two nights. The night before last sounded a bit like I was almost gasping when I was waking up. Next minute sounded like I was waking up but I don't know. I don't use a video because it's so dark so I didn't think I could see myself. I don't know how you were able to see yourself in the dark with the video unless it wasn't real dark. For me, even some light keeps me awake so I need the room to be real dark. Anyway, the last 10-20 minutes before what sounded like me waking up, I can really hear myself breathe and sometimes it'd sound like I was sighing deeply or taking a little deep breathe. Before that, nothing like that kind of breathing. Last night, it wasn't really like that. I'd just snore and I was able to hear my breathing better (put the phone closer to me last night) but I don't think I heard much of "sighing" or really taking a deep breath before I heard what sounded like me waking up. So I don't know what to make of the whole thing. I'm thinking that I probably just need to have another adjustment, have the dentist move it up another millimeter. I just don't know how much more he'll do before he decides it's not working. I'm just surprised that I snore that much even with the oral device in and having an adjustment already. I didn't record myself before having the first adjustment. Wish I had thought of it! I can't believe I would snore that much when I sleep on my stomach. I can understand why I'd snore that much if I was laying on my back but don't understand why it'd happen that much when I sleep on my stomach. When I had my first sleep study, they determined I stopped breathing 14 times in an hour and that was in November. There's no way that's the case anymore if I snore that much now!
Has anyone ever recorded yourself while sleeping? I did that last night using the app, "Snorelab." I sure was surprised! I snore kinda loud and a lot. I notice that the snoring sounds kinda nasal, sometimes like I'm blowing my nose. So I'm beginning to think my sleep apnea is being caused by nasal issues or just my usual sinus issues so that's not surprising. I still use my oral device for sleep apnea but I'm still snoring. Is snoring normal at all even with the oral device? I've tried part of the night with the device and part of it without the device to see if I can find the difference. Seems like the oral device reduces the volume of my snoring but doesn't get rid of it. Anyway, I thought the experience was interesting. I can't believe I snore that much and that loud! Only thing is I still can't tell on the app when I stop breathing. When I listen to myself, all I hear is my snoring and a humming noise the entire time. I don't know how to fix that humming noise and because of that humming noise, I can't hear whether I've stopped my breathing or not.