With only 43% of CPAP users actually wearing their CPAP masks-an alternative is embraced by many suffering with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Although CPAP is considered the ‘gold star’ standard for patients with severe sleep apnea, if you don’t wear it, it’s not helping. Many patients with severe sleep apnea who need to wear a CPAP, find comfort in combining therapies. Many include oral appliance therapy in conjunction with their CPAP. The repositioning of the mandible help open the airway, allowing CPAP users to turn down the pressure on their masks, resulting in higher tolerance and usage.
For patients who suffer from mild to severe sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy is a popular method for treatment. People from across the globe are visiting dental practices for screenings, and fitted for oral appliances. After your dentist runs an airway tests with the Eccovision Imaging Software, a diagnostic technology which measures the collapsibility of the airway, an appliance is custom made. Dentists are using a variety of different appliances to keep the position of the mandible forward, and open, to allow for more air.
An oral sleep appliance is a custom-fabricated mouthpiece similar to an orthodontic retainer or sports mouth-guard worn over the teeth. The appliance works by comfortably repositioning the lower jaw and tongue forward or by restraining the tongue to keep the airway from collapsing during sleep. Snoring and sleep apnea are then effectively managed and good quality sleep can be achieved without interruption.
A FEW ORAL APPLIANCES IN THE MARKET:
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral sleep appliances as a first line treatment option for individuals with mild or moderate sleep apnea or for those who are unable to use CPAP successfully. Oral appliances are also considered for those who are not candidates or prefer not to pursue airway surgery.
A dentist specially trained in the field of dental sleep medicine can expertly fabricate a dental sleep appliance. The dentist will work closely with sleep physicians and sleep lab technicians to ensure appliance efficacy and long term health of the individual.
In summary, CPAP treatment can be highly effective in treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. For some patients, the improvement in the quality of sleep and quality of life due to CPAP treatment will be noticed after a single night’s use. Unfortunately, most people don’t wear their cpap mask, but now there is a great solution; oral appliance therapy.
REASONS WHY PATIENTS CANNOT WEAR CPAP
- Noise due to the air compressor prevents ability to sleep.
- Pressure is too high.
- Voice changes.
- Skin irritations from the mask.
- Eye irritations from air leakage.
- Throat dryness.
- Nose dryness.
- Headaches from head straps.
- Tinnitus. (Ringing in the ears)
- Sinus infections.
- Difficulty breathing out against the air being forced through the nose.
- Air in stomach.
- Dislike being attached to a machine.
- Nasal stuffiness.
- Younger men will not wear CPAP.
- Psychological reasons. Do not like the “Darth Vader” look.
HOW DO ORAL APPLIANCES HELP PREVENT SLEEP APNEA?
Sleep apnea occurs when the tongue falls back and blocks the airway for ten seconds or more. Most patients have a more serious problem when they sleep on their back which makes it easier for the tongue to fall back and obstruct their ability to breathe.
Oral appliances are like upper and lower mouth guards which gently move the lower jaw and tongue forward to open the airway.
1. TONGUE BLOCKS THE AIRWAY
2. APPLIANCE HOLDS JAW FORWARD