Sleep apnea can take a toll on your overall well-being. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines are typically the go-to solution. However, oral appliances offer an alternative for some patients. Because of their design, many patients prefer the convenience of oral appliances (OAs) over CPAP machines. To know if a CPAP is right for you, schedule a consultation with your dentist.
Sleep Apnea Unveiled
Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open during sleep. This leads to repetitive pauses in breathing. This can cause the brain to wake up to resume normal airflow momentarily. These interruptions can result in broken sleep. As a result, you may have fatigue and irritability during the day. Over time, sleep apnea can lead to significant health issues, such as heart problems, chronic conditions, and stroke.
The CPAP Solution
Many doctors use CPAP machines to treat sleep apnea. It delivers a constant stream of air through a mask to prevent the airway from collapsing. This keeps the airway open, allowing for better breathing and improved sleep quality.
Oral Appliances: A Comfortable Alternative
Oral appliances are devices that fit like a mouthguard or retainer. They work to reposition the lower jaw slightly forward. This helps keep the airway open during sleep. The main use of oral appliances involves adjusting the position of the lower jaw. With the jaw slightly forward, it prevents the soft tissues in the back of the throat from collapsing. This reduces the likelihood of airway obstruction.
Your dentist can create an oral device to fit your mouth perfectly. They can make sure that the device meets your specific needs and anatomy.
Benefits of Oral Appliances
One of the major benefits of OAs is that they are more comfortable and easy to use. Unlike CPAP machines, OAs are non-invasive and travel-friendly. With a CPAP, you have to wear a mask and stay connected to a device. However, an OA fits within your mouth, which makes it more convenient.
Many find it easier to use oral appliances consistently than CPAP machines. The absence of masks, tubes, and noise makes oral appliances a more user-friendly option.
Oral appliances are compact and portable. So, this makes them an excellent choice for frequent travelers. They don’t require electricity or a specific setup. This allows you to maintain your sleep apnea routine wherever you go.
Why Choose Oral Appliances Over CPAP?
Oral appliances are particularly effective for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea. They provide a better option for those who may find CPAP machines uncomfortable or difficult.
Some people find wearing a mask and being tethered to a CPAP machine disruptive to their sleep. Oral appliances offer a less intrusive solution that allows for a more natural sleeping experience. Yet, they are still effective in allowing uninterrupted sleep.
Oral appliances are customizable to fit your mouth’s unique shape and your specific sleep apnea needs. This tailored approach also ensures maximum comfort and effectiveness.