Sleep apnea is more than just loud snoring; it is a real health hazard. If you are suffering from untreated sleep apnea, you are not only getting sub-par sleep every night, but you could be having hundreds of episodes a night where you actually stop breathing. Sleep apnea has been linked to serious health conditions, including coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
If you have tried a CPAP machine in the past and found it uncomfortable and cumbersome, leading to you not using it, you should consider an oral sleep appliance as offered by Dr. Kyle Benton and our team at Sound Sleep Arkansas by Benton Family Dentistry. A convenient alternative to CPAP, our devices are custom-fit by dentists with special expertise and training in treating sleep apnea. These small, comfortable, and effective devices fit in the mouth, similar to a retainer or mouthguard, opening your airway via an adjustment of the lower jaw and tongue, providing you with a safe and restful night’s sleep.
Oral appliance therapy is best for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea with or without habitual snoring. These custom-fit devices are also suitable for some patients with severe sleep apnea who are experiencing difficulty adjusting to the sound and cumbersome nature of CPAP therapy. Oral appliances are preferred by so many due to some of the following benefits:
- Portable – easy to travel with
- Simple to wear
- No recurring supply cost
- No need for stressful and time-consuming upkeep
- Safe to wear
- Proven to be clinically effective
- Warrantied against damage such as breakage
- No electricity required
- It can also help with chronic bruxism (grinding of teeth)
The Difference Between CPAP and Oral Appliance Therapy
There are significant differences between CPAP therapy and oral appliance therapy. A CPAP mask forces air into the wearer’s airway to keep the passage open, while an oral appliance simply adjusts the position of the jaw and tongue to prevent the obstruction of air while sleeping. A CPAP is large, covering a significant portion of the patient’s head and face, creating a feeling of claustrophobia in some. An oral appliance, worn inside the patient’s mouth, is small and much more tolerable. This also makes it easy to travel with, as opposed to the inconvenience traveling with a CPAP machine creates.
If you are interested in learning more about oral appliance therapy, please call our Hot Springs, AR office today for an appointment. You can reach us at (501) 991-9132.