Oral appliance (OA) can effectively treat obstructive sleep apnea; however, numerous types of oral appliances and designs are variable and the precise mechanisms behind differences in treatment outcomes are uncertain. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of different degrees of mandibular position [4° of bite openings (BO): 2, 4, 8 and 12 mm; and protrusion (P): 0, 50%, MAX], for both the upright and supine positions: BO2 mm_P0%, BO4 mm_P0%, BO4 mm_P50%, BO4 mm_PMAX, BO8 mm_P0%, BO12 mm_P0%; with an OA on the: (1) activity of the genioglossus (GG) muscle by electromyogram, (2) inspiration by airflow sensor, and (3) recording mandibular movements (incisor and mandibular condyle point) in each position. Nine healthy male adults (age 27.5 ± 1.30 years) were recruited. The results show that GG muscle activity increased significantly from BO4 mm_P0% to BO12 mm_P0% during the supine position, and the strongest signal was found in BO4 mm_PMAX, compared to all of the other positions, and GG muscle activity in BO4 mm_P0% tended to be lower. From supine to upright position the inspiration increased significantly but GG muscle activity did not. These results might be a stimulus to augment a compensatory mechanism of GG muscle induced by OA, however, mainly in protrusion position. The increase of BO (2–12 mm) and even maximum protrusion might not negatively affect the temporomandibular joint.
Oral appliance Obstructive sleep apnea Genioglossus muscle Electromyogram Mandibular position
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The authors are grateful to Professor Peter A. Cistulli and Dr. Kate Sutherland from Centre for Sleep Health and Research, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia, and Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, for important scientific advice.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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