If you dread wearing your CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask night after night, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are other options to explore.
Kuhn Dental Associates in Aberdeen offers a comfortable CPAP alternative — oral appliance therapy. If you’re ready to ditch CPAP for a new type of treatment, explore some of the reasons why many patients choose small oral appliances over bulky machines:
1. They're Comfortable.
The number one complaint we hear about CPAP is how uncomfortable it is. Wearing a mask over your face while you sleep doesn’t feel natural — especially if you’re claustrophobic. The mask can make it difficult to feel comfortable enough to fall asleep. Over time, the mask can lead to acne or other skin conditions.
If you find CPAP intolerable to wear due to comfort, you will love oral appliances. Oral appliances rest comfortably inside your mouth like a mouthguard. Nothing goes over your face. The appliance works by holding your jaw in the right position to open the airway, and creating extra room in your mouth to accommodate your tongue. The combination of the two allows you to sleep while breathing comfortably throughout the night. Falling asleep just became that much easier and more comfortable.
2. They're Convenient.
Have you ever tried to travel with CPAP? You might need to check an extra bag on the plane; and rule out any camping or backpacking trips, unless a portable energy source is nearby. Needless to say, if you love to travel, CPAP may not be the best choice for you.
On the flip side, traveling with an oral appliance is a piece of cake. You can store them in a small case that can easily fit in your hygiene bag, and there’s no need to check an extra bag or plan your vacation around electricity access.
3. They're More Discreet.
Not only are oral appliances more convenient and comfortable, but they’re also discreet. If you’re dating someone new, you might feel embarrassed about wearing a CPAP mask. With oral appliance therapy, you don’t have to feel embarrassed. Nobody even has to know what you’re putting in your mouth. Most people are used to seeing others pop in a night guard before sleep and an oral appliance isn’t any different. You can feel confident wearing your oral appliance to bed every night.
4. They're Effective.
If you’re worried that oral appliances aren’t as effective as CPAP machines, you should know that oral appliances are just as effective for treating mild to moderate sleep apnea. Only in severe cases is CPAP a better option.
If you’re not sure how severe your sleep apnea is, you can talk to your doctor and Dr. Mandy Grimshaw at Kuhn Dental Associates to determine whether oral appliance therapy is right for you.
5. They're Better For Long-Term Compliance
One of the biggest drawbacks of CPAP is that long-term compliance rates are not high, because CPAP is uncomfortable and inconvenient. With oral appliances, however, long-term compliance is much higher. It’s common to see patients give up on CPAP after a month but once they switch to oral appliances, they will stay compliant long-term.
The Best Sleep Apnea Treatment Is The One You Will Use
A CPAP works by streaming oxygen into your airway, and is effective at reducing the effects of sleep apnea. However, about 50 percent of sleep apnea patients report not using their machine, making it effective only as a piece of bedroom furniture.
When it comes down to it, the best sleep apnea treatment is the one that you will use night after night. Without a consistent treatment plan in place, you can’t expect to see any improvement in symptoms — or improve any associated health risks. Untreated sleep apnea is associated with heart attacks, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and many other serious complications.
By choosing a sleep apnea treatment that’s comfortable and convenient, you can improve your quality of life and your health.
Debi, a patient at Kuhn Dental Associates who switched from CPAP to an oral appliance, recently left us this review: “There are no words to describe how grateful I am for Ashley and Dr. Grimshaw. By getting fitted with an oral appliance, I was able to get off my CPAP machine! I sleep so much better and with the appliance, travel is so much easier. So glad I went for a free consultation. Ashley rocks!”
To find out if oral appliance therapy is right for you, contact Dr. Mandy Grimshaw at Kuhn Dental Associates is happy to meet with you for a consultation. To learn more or contact Kuhn Dental, visit www.kuhndentist.com or call 910-218-9661. The practice is located at 1902 N Sandhills Blvd in Aberdeen.