Although CPAP is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, its treatment isn’t always well-tolerated by patients. Masks and hoses can make sleeping comfortably very difficult for those who prefer to sleep on their sides or their stomachs. Since CPAP emits a continuous stream of air, it can lead to oral dryness, which can increase the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Maintaining a CPAP machine can be cumbersome. Its masks and hoses must be cleaned on a daily basis. Foregoing proper cleaning of a CPAP’s accessories could lead to the growth of harmful bacteria and mold.
When patients feel obstructed or uncomfortable with CPAP therapy, they might take their masks off while sleeping. Inadequate or improper CPAP use will not control the symptoms and side effects associated with sleep apnea – leaving patients sleep deprived and exhausted.
Other common complaints associated with CPAP treatment include:
If you travel frequently, transporting a CPAP can be a chore – especially for those who have to fly often for work.
Wearing a CPAP mask can be irritating to one’s skin – causing sore spots and rashes.
CPAP masks cover the nose and/or mouth. Those who struggle with claustrophobia tend to have trouble sleeping comfortably with CPAP.
Oral appliance therapy is a comfortable sleep apnea treatment solution that doesn’t require machinery or bulky accessories. This alternative to CPAP involves wearing a custom-made oral appliance inside the mouth like a mouthguard. Oral appliance therapy works by increasing the diameter of the airway by slightly positioning the lower jaw forward. This slight airway expansion prevents the obstructions that cause apneas.
With oral appliance therapy, you can enjoy a comfortable sleep in any position because there are no hoses or masks. It’s also quick and easy to clean as you only have to wash a small mouthpiece. Since oral appliance therapy doesn’t involve machinery, it is quiet and will not dry out your mouth. Those who travel frequently enjoy the fact that their appliances fit into small handheld cases.
If you have questions about sleep apnea treatment, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team at Indy Dental Sleep. After a conversation and examination with Dr. Gillum, we will be able to determine if this is the best treatment option for your needs.