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By S & G Family Dentistry
May 07, 2019
Category: Sleep Apnea

Millions of adults in the U.S. are affected by sleep apnea, a condition associated with interrupted breathing during sleep. Pauses in sleep-apneabreathing occur when the airway collapses, making it difficult for air to reach the lungs. Individuals with sleep apnea often have difficulty achieving a restful night’s sleep. CPAP therapy is commonly used to treat sleep apnea, but can be uncomfortable. Fortunately, there is an alternative. At the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center in Leawood, Dr. Nancy Addy and Dr. Jarret Grosdidier have a CPAP alternative.

What is CPAP Therapy?

CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP therapy is a method for treating sleep apnea by maintaining consistent air pressure to the airway while sleeping so it does not collapse and cause interruptions in breathing. CPAP therapy utilizes a machine and a sleep mask to deliver consistent air pressure to the airway. Depending on the type of mask a patient is given, it covers the nose or both the mouth and nose and is worn while the patient sleeps.

CPAP therapy effectively treats sleep apnea for many patients. However, the machine does make some noise when turned on at night, which can affect some patients’ ability to sleep. Additionally, not everyone is comfortable wearing and breathing through a mask while sleeping. For patients who are hesitant about CPAP therapy, a more comfortable alternative treatment option is available.

Oral Appliance Treatment

Oral appliance treatment is an alternative to CPAP therapy for treating sleep apnea. Oral appliance treatment eliminates the need for a sleep mask and a machine to regulate air pressure to the airway. Oral appliance treatment works with an oral appliance that fits directly in your mouth, much like an orthodontic retainer. There are no masks and no machines. There are two types of oral appliances for treating sleep apnea. A dentist can recommend the right one for you. Sleep apnea oral appliances include:

  • Mandibular Repositioning Appliance — Repositions and holds the lower jaw in a stable position while sleeping to keep the tongue in place and the airway open.
  • Tongue Retaining Appliance — Holds the tongue in a forward position so it cannot collapse and block the airway while sleeping.

There are several advantages to treating sleep apnea with oral appliances versus CPAP therapy. Oral appliances are small and easy to take along when traveling overnight. Oral appliances are also less cumbersome and much more comfortable to wear than a sleep mask connected to a machine. Additionally, oral appliances are custom designed for each patient for a perfect fit, which also makes them more comfortable. Finally, it is possible to use oral appliances in conjunction with CPAP therapy, eliminating the need for a chin strap.

Oral appliances are an exciting alternative for treating sleep apnea for individuals hesitant about CPAP therapy. For more information about oral appliances or CPAP in Leawood, schedule an appointment with Dr. Addy or Dr. Grosdidier by calling the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center at (913) 451-2929.

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