The TRD device holds the tongue forward during sleep to prevent it from obstructing the airway. By retaining the tongue, the retaining device is increasing the three-dimensional airway space from your mouth, which is one of the most effective ways of keeping the airway open during sleep. This tongue stabilising device is intended to pull and retain the tongue in an advanced position during sleep so that the tongue would not collapse into the airway against the pharyngeal wall due to decreased muscle tone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea can drastically reduce their sleep disorder by using the tongue retaining device.
This is useful for patients with:
- mild and moderate obstructive sleep apnea,
- big tongue, or a tongue muscle that becomes too relaxed during sleep,
- large tonsils or long uvula,
- Hypothyroidism: due to lack of thyroid hormone, patients tend to have a larger tongue, as well as increased fat deposits in the tissues of the upper airway.
Note: If the patient's tongue does not extend beyond the lips, the tongue retaining device will not be a suitable treatment option!
There are many clinical studies where you can verify the effectiveness of tongue stabilising devices.
Some of the most relevant studies are:
- The effects of a nonsurgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
- Predicting response to the TRD for sleep apnea syndrome
- The TRD efficacy and side effects in obstructive sleep apnea
- toward treatment logic for sleep apnea
The main problem with these oral devices is excessive salivation, mainly during the first week of use. The salivation will eventually subside in time, so you should keep using the oral device without interruption. If you find the salivation to be a problem, place a towel over the pillow, but try to continue the therapy.
This can be due to the tongue that is too stretched. Try moving the tongue out of device to give the tongue more flexibility. As the salivating decreases, the difficulty swallowing will disappear as well. With practice you can learn how to swallow with the device in your mouth.