Oral Sleep Appliances vs. CPAP Machines

If you find yourself snoring excessively, always waking up tired, or waking up with a dry mouth, you may have obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder where a physical obstruction in your airway causes you to temporarily stop breathing during sleep, interrupting your normal sleep cycle.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious health problem, but thankfully there are many treatments for it. One of the most popular is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, but you may want to consider an alternative treatment first.

Today we’d like to discuss the CPAP machine versus an oral sleep appliance (OSA).

What is a CPAP Machine?

A CPAP machine addresses the primary issue of sleep apnea: not enough air getting through your airway. By pushing additional air into your mouth and nose, a CPAP creates positive air pressure that prevents your throat from collapsing, the primary cause of sleep apnea.

CPAP machines consist of two primary parts: the machine itself and the mask. The machine is essentially an air pump that connects to the mask through hoses. Masks vary depending on the user’s needs, but can be attached to the nose, mouth, or both.

Disadvantages of CPAP Machines

Though the technology has advanced significantly, CPAP machines come with several drawbacks.

First is noise. Because they are mechanical in nature, CPAP machines have a certain amount of noise. The machines can make distracting whooshing or clicking sounds; higher-end models significantly reduce this, but for some sufferers (and their sleeping partners) it can be very distracting.

CPAP machines also require you to wear a mask. The shapes – and the intrusiveness of them – vary, but the sensation of sleeping with something on your face can take a lot of getting used to. The masks are usually secured with a strap of some kind.

Why Choose an Oral Sleep Appliance?

Thankfully, an alternative exists for CPAP machines: an oral sleep appliance! An oral sleep appliance is a custom-made, single-piece device that you wear in your mouth while sleeping. They work in a very simple manner: they gently push your jaw forward during sleep, keeping your airway open.

Oral sleep appliances may not be suitable for all cases of obstructive sleep apnea, and you should consult with your doctor to see if you’re a good candidate. But for those who are, they are an effective and quiet alternative to CPAP machines.

Klooster Family Dentistry is proud to offer OSAs to all of our patients! If you think you’re a good candidate for an OSA, contact us today! We can help you get the sleep you deserve.