Why So Many Sleep Apnea Patients Prefer an Oral Appliance to the CPAP

Sleep apnea does more than cause a bad night’s sleep — there are serious health consequences that can come from untreated sleep apnea, from heart problems to diabetes. But sometimes the cure simply adds to the problem. If you count yourself among the many who have issues with the cumbersome CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device, there is an alternative.

Anne Chee, DDS specializes in helping her patients in Houston and Westchase, Texas, find solutions for sleep apnea that don’t require the use of a CPAP machine, namely custom-made oral devices that achieve the same result.

If you want to sleep through the night, without interruption, see how an oral appliance may be just the cure you’re looking for.

The problem

There are several types of sleep apnea, but the upshot is that you stop breathing throughout the night, causing you to wake up repeatedly in order to restore your flow of oxygen. This repeated rousing and lack of oxygen can do a number on your health, taxing your cardiovascular system and leaving you terribly fatigued during the day.

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, especially obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may have recommended a CPAP device, which keeps your airways open to allow you to breathe more easily while you sleep.

While effective, a CPAP device is far from a subtle solution. First, the device is difficult to sleep with because it involves a hose and face or nosepiece, which takes some getting used to and limits your sleep positions considerably.

Second, the machine needs to be powered, which means you need to have a power source. While this generally doesn’t cause many issues, it can cause problems if you’re on the road a good deal. For example, if you like to spend time camping with the family, a CPAP device isn’t exactly a convenient item to have to power out in the wilderness.

As well, if you travel to foreign countries, you need to be mindful of finding a converter for the machine.

Finally, the mask or nosepiece is often a source of irritation for wearers. Thanks to constant friction, you may develop sore spots around your nose or mouth.

The fix

Here at our practice, we’ve helped many of our patients with sleep apnea get an uninterrupted night’s sleep with an oral appliance, which fits neatly into your mouth, without a tangle of hoses and cords.

When you come in, we review your problem to determine whether an oral appliance may serve you better. Typically, we turn to an appliance that moves your lower jaw into a position that keeps your airways free and clear, allowing you to breathe throughout the night. To make sure it does its job correctly, we have the appliance custom manufactured to fit your mouth.

Each night before you go to sleep, you simply slip the device into your mouth and turn off the lights.

Since the appliance doesn’t rely on a power source, you can take it with you when you travel, and it doesn’t have any external components that can irritate your skin.

It should be noted that an oral appliance isn’t for everyone. While they do a great job for most cases of obstructive sleep apnea, if your condition is fairly moderate or severe, you may need the positive pressure of a CPAP machine to keep your airways open.

To find out whether you might benefit from a less obtrusive solution for your sleep apnea, please give us a call or use the online scheduling tool on this website to request an appointment

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