Dental appliance used for treating sleep apnea

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy has long been the tried-and-true treatment option for people who suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea. The problem with CPAP therapy is that many patients find the device uncomfortable and stop the therapy after a short time. Since CPAP therapy is the most commonly prescribed solution for sleep apnea, many patients don’t know that alternative treatment options are available to help them. That said, you can breathe easy knowing that newer dental appliances are highly effective in treating sleep apnea.

How Oral Devices Work in Sleep Apnea Therapy

Most cited reasons for people giving up on their CPAP machines include improper mask fittings, trouble falling asleep with the device on, and difficulty tolerating the forced air. Bite splints or mandibular advancing splints can offer a more comfortable and convenient treatment option for many individuals.

These devices, which are regularly and simply referred to as “oral appliances” or “mouthguards,” work by shifting and supporting your jaw to keep your airway open. When compared to CPAP machines, they provide significant advantages, including:

  • Reduction in snoring
  • Increased comfort, regardless of sleep position
  • Fewer instances of dry nasal passages
  • More consistent relief due to a high rate of use
  • Higher rate of therapy compliance
  • Doesn’t require access to power or battery packs

And because of their small and lightweight design, dental appliances are highly transportable, making them the ideal choice for people who love to travel. 

Other Benefits of Dental Appliances

Bite splints can be used in the treatment of sleep apnea and other dental conditions, too.

  • Bruxism- commonly calledteeth grinding that occurs while you sleep can wear down your teeth and cause jaw soreness. 
  • TMJ- Temporomandibular joint disorders affect the joint that connects your upper and lower jaws. The use of an oral appliance,aside from protecting your teeth from further wear, can also prevent common TMJ issues like pain, headaches, and jaw discomfort.

Some patients have reported that their bite splits interfere with other dental work like crowns. Still, with regular check-ups and adjustments, this convenient dental appliance can deliver relief and comfort most don’t get from a CPAP machine.

Is a Dental Appliance the Best Treatment for You?

Dental appliances like bite splints are a proven treatment for patients who fail to comply with CPAP therapy and those with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The best way to find out if it’s the right way to treat your sleep apnea and snoring is to talk with your dentist.

Dr. Bruce Kanehl of the Kanehl Dental Group in Jacksonville, FL, is one of the area’s leading practitioners in sleep apnea splint therapy. He also specializes in cosmetic dentistry, TMJ treatment, and diabetic dentistry.

For more than 40 years, Dr. Kanehl has provided innovative sleep apnea solutions that help patients sleep better and improve their overall health. If you’re having difficulty with CPAP therapy or are seeking alternative sleep apnea treatment options, Dr. Kanehl will help you make the right treatment choice. To learn more, schedule a free sleep apnea consultation with us today.