For those battling sleep apnea, the CPAP (or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine has long been the go-to solution. However, the loud, bulky, and sometimes uncomfortable CPAP device isn’t the only option for treating sleep apnea. An oral appliance is a discreet and far more comfortable alternative that offers many unique benefits you don’t find with a CPAP. Today, we wanted to discuss how an oral appliance can help you treat your apnea and become a great CPAP alternative.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Before we dive into the benefits of oral appliances, let’s briefly discuss sleep apnea. This common sleep disorder involves the repeated interruption of breathing during sleep. While there are many types of apnea, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common. It occurs when the muscles in your throat relax too much and close during the night. It can cause you to stop breathing temporarily, leading to serious health problems in the future. That’s why treatment is so important.

The Downsides of CPAP Machines

CPAP machines, while effective in preventing sleep apnea episodes, come with some drawbacks:

  • Discomfort: Wearing a CPAP mask can be uncomfortable and challenging to adjust to, leading to non-compliance in many patients. 
  • Noise: The noise generated by the machine and the forced air can disturb both the patient and their sleeping partner. 
  • Portability: CPAP machines are not easily transportable, making them less suitable for travelers. 
  • Difficult Maintenance: A CPAP machine can require extensive cleaning. Otherwise, the germs and bacteria it accumulates can harm your overall health.

So what is the solution? That’s when an oral appliance comes in.

The Benefits of an Oral Appliance

Oral appliances are an effective, patient-friendly alternative to CPAP machines. At our practice, we use the SomnoDent oral appliance. It looks and feels much like a simple mouthguard. It shifts your jaw forward to keep your airways open while you sleep. There are no masks over your nose and mouth and nothing to plug in.

This alternative offers several advantages: 

  • More Comfortable: Your custom appliance is designed for your mouth, making it far more comfortable to wear. It will gently reposition your jaw and tongue to keep the airway open, effectively treating sleep apnea. 
  • Quieter: Unlike CPAP machines, oral appliances operate silently, allowing you and your partner to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
  • Easy for Travel: Oral appliances are compact and easy to pack into luggage, making them an excellent choice for those who travel frequently.
  • Non-Invasive: There are no masks or tubes involved with oral appliances, eliminating the discomfort associated with CPAP machines. 

If you’ve been considering a CPAP alternative for your sleep apnea, you’ll love getting a custom oral appliance. However, be sure to speak to your primary care specialist to discuss whether this is right for your type of apnea. This solution is typically ideal for mild to moderate cases. 

Ready for your sleep apnea solution? With the right oral appliance and a commitment to compliance, you can finally enjoy the peaceful, restorative sleep you deserve. Call us at 502-783-6322 or schedule your next appointment in Frankfort, KY online.