Do you use CPAP therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea? Many patients who manage sleep apnea with CPAP are unhappy with their treatment. While a CPAP machine prevents episodes of apnea, it can be uncomfortable and obstructive to some sleepers.
If you’re unsatisfied with using CPAP, our prosthodontist offers consultations for oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy is an effective sleep apnea solution than can improve your comfort during rest.
What are some disadvantages associated with CPAP therapy?
CPAP therapy is effective but can obstruct a person from sleeping comfortably. The nasal mask and hoses used in this treatment protocol impede movement during sleep and can trigger feelings of claustrophobia in some people.
Other disadvantages associated with CPAP therapy include symptoms of dry mouth and the cumbersome nature of keeping CPAP equipment clean. A CPAP machine emits a stream of air into the oral cavity. While this does prevent episodes of apnea, it can lead to dry mouth. Having persistent dry mouth does affect oral health by increasing the risks of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
Additionally, the hoses and masks attached to a CPAP machine must be cleaned frequently. Cleaning this equipment can be seen as a time-consuming chore for many people.
How does oral appliance therapy treat sleep apnea?
Oral appliance therapy is an alternative to CPAP. This treatment option prevents apnea by increasing the diameter of the airway. This is accomplished by wearing a custom made, mouthguard-like appliance inside the mouth. The sleep apnea appliance positions the lower jaw forward, which expands the airway and prevents obstructions to breathing.
What are the benefits of oral appliance therapy?
There are numerous benefits to using oral appliances to treat sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy doesn’t require obstructive hoses or masks. Nor does it require electricity. It is easily portable and does not interfere with switching positions during sleep. Cleaning an oral appliance is far easier than cleaning a CPAP machine’s parts, too.
If oral appliance therapy interests you, call Dakota Prosthodontics and Implant Center to schedule a sleep apnea treatment consultation with our prosthodontist.