For our sleep apnea patients, we often recommend expanders. The roof of the mouth (the part of the anatomy that is widened by expanders) is also the floor of the nasal passage. Widening the roof of the mouth with expanders therefore increases the size of the nasal passage – creating extra space for air to flow through. This can help reduce the collapse of the airways common to sleep apnea. Expanders are most often effective at treating sleep apnea in children. For adults, other sleep apnea treatments may be necessary.
On rare occasions, orthodontic surgery is an option to treat sleep apnea. We also occasionally create sleep appliances that can serve as a CPAP substitute. Unfortunately, these have the potential to move the teeth out of alignment and are therefore not recommended often.