How Do Sleep Apnea Mouthpieces Work?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common condition that can cause a variety of health issues, some of them serious. Traditional treatment has been prescribing a patient to use a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine. While they’re effective, some patients find them uncomfortable. They eventually can’t sleep with it on, or they stop wearing it, which is counterproductive.

Recent studies show that alternative treatments such as a mandibular advancement device (MAD) can be just as useful. Best of all, because they’re less uncomfortable for many people, those who use them tend to wear them more diligently.

Sleep Apnea as a Health Risk

Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to a number of health problems including:

  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Irregular heartbeat, heart failure, or heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke

Fortunately, your dentist can help you with treating the condition.

Sleep Apnea Mouthpieces

Also called oral appliances or mouthguards, sleep apnea mouthpieces shift and support your jaw to keep your airway free and open. They are ideal for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. For people who don’t want or are unable to use a CPAP, they offer several advantages:

  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced snoring
  • Long-term control of sleep apnea

Looking much like the mouthguards athletes wear, sleep apnea mouthpieces snap over your upper and lower dental arches. Metal hinges in the device ease your lower jaw forward as you sleep. The device must be custom-fitted by a dentist, preferably one who specializes in sleep apnea treatment.

Which Device is Best for You?

CPAP machines are highly effective at preventing breathing disruption during sleep. It’s a good option for people who can tolerate the mask or those who have brain and lung related traits that contribute to their sleep apnea. Oral appliances like mouthpieces are preferred by many people for their comfort and effectiveness.

The best way to find out which device is right for you is to talk with your dentist who can go over the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Schedule a Consultation

Sleep apnea treatments can lower blood pressure, improve stamina, and reduce the risk of serious health diseases.

Just as there are dental professionals who specialize in implants and orthodontics, there are those who are specially trained to treat sleep apnea. Dr. Bruce Kanehl of the Kanehl Dental Group is one of Jacksonville, FL’s leading practitioners focusing on sleep apnea treatment as well as TMJ treatment, periodontal disease, diabetic dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry. For more than 20 years, Dr. Kanehl has been making dental appliances that help his patients sleep better and improve their health.

Kanehl Dental is committed to helping our patients relieve improve their sleep apnea so they can live happier, more stress-free lives. Before choosing a CPAP breathing machine, or having throat surgery, schedule a free sleep apnea consultation with us today.