Is an oral appliance right for you?

Photo of a man sleeping while wearing a CPAP mask.CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines are a great solution for many people who suffer with sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. However, many patients find them difficult to live with – they can be uncomfortable and cumbersome to sleep in, a hassle to keep clean, and very difficult to travel with. If you have decided that CPAP is not for you, you should know that you have other options available, such as oral appliance therapy – a recent study found that over 80% of patients preferred oral appliance therapy to their CPAP machines. Here are some things you might not know about this treatment. 

  1. An oral appliance is like a mouthguard that athletes wear. It fits over your teeth while you sleep and works by repositioning your jaw and tongue, opening up your airway to make breathing easier.
  2. Oral appliances are effective but very easy to use. Patients report that oral appliances are comfortable and easy to take care of. Compared to a CPAP machine, it is much quieter and much easier to travel with.
  3. Getting an oral appliance at your doctor’s office is quick and easy. If you and your doctor decide that an oral appliance is the right option for you, your doctor will evaluate your airway, jaws, and your teeth and fit you for the appliance. There are over 100 kinds of FDA-approved oral appliances, and your doctor can tell you which one is right for you.
  4. It can take time to get used to your appliance, but stick with it! Research studies have found that over 90% of patients who start using an oral appliance are still using it a year later. Chances are that after a few nights you won’t even realize you are wearing it, but you will notice that you are sleeping better.

You don’t have to suffer with a sleep disorder and lack of sleep. CPAP machines aren’t for everyone, but don’t worry – there are other options available if you’ve tried one but didn’t like it. Contact Sleep & Neuroscience Associates in Greenwich, CT, to discuss your sleep problems and possible solutions. Call 203-653-3519 for an appointment today!

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