Average Apnea-Hypopnea Index Results Before and After Oral Appliance Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) is a numerical measure that accounts for the number of pauses in breathing per hour of sleep. It is used to assess the severity of an individual’s sleep apnea. An AHI reduction to < 5, which is considered resolution of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), or < 10 (very mild OSA), or a percentage reduction in AHI from baseline that is considered “clinically meaningful” (typically 50% AHI reduction) defines successful oral appliance therapy treatment.¹

2020 (N = 51)

AHI = apnea-hypopnea index, OSA = obstructive sleep apnea

Oral appliance therapy uses a mouthguard-like device worn only during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. These devices prevent the airway from collapsing by supporting the jaw in a forward position. For many, oral appliances are more comfortable to wear than a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask. The devices are also quiet, portable, and easy to maintain. Research suggests that oral appliance therapy can be very effective for mild to moderate apnea and offers a higher patient compliance rate than found with a CPAP mask.

  1. Sutherland K, Vanderveken OM, Tsuda H, Marklund M, Gagnadoux F, Kushida CA, Cistulli PA. Oral appliance treatment for obstructive sleep apnea: an update. J Clin Sleep Med. 2014 Feb 15;10(2):215-227.