New Easy-to-Use Dental Appliances Replace CPAP!
Sleep apnea occurs when the airway completely collapses, blocking airflow into the lungs. The harder one tries to breathe, the tighter the airway seals. This airway obstruction persists until the brain partially awakens the person. Unconscious, the person closes the jaw, returning the tongue and throat to a normal position.
The sleep apnea cycle–falling asleep, jaw relaxing, airway collapsing, unconsciously awakening with a gasp, falling back asleep–can repeat itself 50 or more times per hour during the night. With a blocked air passage, the snorer cannot receive enough oxygen, and this can lead to other problems.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine now considers dental appliances a first line treatment for Snoring and mild to moderate Sleep Apnea, they are also ideal for patients with severe sleep apnea who cannot tolerate CPAP or as an alternative when traveling and there is no access to power. Dental Sleep Appliances have been scientifically proven to be very effective – “over 95% of people are satisfied with the level of improvement with their Snoring when assessed and treated correctly”.
Some common problems with CPAP are:
- The mask is uncomfortable
- The mask is taken off at night without knowing it
- The mask is taken off at night to use the bathroom and it’s too much bother to put it back on
- The mask irritates the skin and the nose
- Air in the stomach or sinuses
- The mask leaks air
- The pressure of the CPAP is bothersome
- The CPAP machine is too noisy to allow sleep
- The tubing gets in the way
- You just can’t get used to the mask
- The mask gives you a feeling of claustrophobia
- Your nose can be stuffy because of a cold or allergies
- The air is too hot, too cold or too dry
Whatever the reason, some people just cannot tolerate CPAP.
According to a 2006 review, dental devices help control sleep apnea in 52% of treated patients. A 2002 report indicated that long-term use of a dental device achieved an 81% success rate in apnea improvement, which was significantly higher than the 53% success rate noted for uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), the standard surgical treatment.
The journal Sleep by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine stated that, “Oral appliances are indicated for use in patients with mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea who prefer oral appliances to CPAP, or who do not respond to CPAP, are not appropriate candidates for CPAP, or who fail treatment attempts with CPAP or treatment with behavioral measures such as weight loss or sleep-position change.”
Oral appliances, which resemble sports mouth guards are associated with better compliance than CPAP systems for many patients. Oral appliances can also be used as first-line treatment for primary snoring that is not associated with obstructive sleep apnea.