If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you have serious decisions to make regarding treatment. OSA is more than just snoring. You may be interrupting your breathing hundreds of times each night, putting stress on your cardiovascular system and overall health. Treatments for OSA vary from lifestyle changes like losing weight to conservative and surgical treatments. Two of the most effective options without surgery are OSA oral appliances and CPAP therapy. Here are the differences between the two and why many people prefer using an OSA appliance to control their sleep apnea.
What Is CPAP Therapy?
Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, therapy uses a mask connected to a machine that blows air into a tube connected to the mask. By wearing the CPAP mask while sleeping, you receive positive air pressure that helps keep your airway from collapsing while you sleep. This is an effective treatment for sleep apnea, but it is intrusive and inconvenient. It can be disturbing to your sleep partner and difficult to accommodate when traveling.
What Is an OSA Appliance?
An OSA appliance is a specialized dental nightguard or mouthguard that is designed to shift the bottom jaw forward. This gentle shift of the jaw allows the airway to stay open and may prevent soft tissue in the throat from collapsing while you sleep. The device is customized to fit your teeth and bite, so it is comfortable to wear.
Benefits for OSA Appliance Users
While both the OSA appliance and CPAP machine are effective at controlling sleep apnea, the OSA oral device is much less invasive. There is no noise or motor that will keep your sleep partner, or you, awake. Some of the other benefits include:
- Small and unintrusive
- Easy to bring with you when you travel
- Easy maintenance – no tubes to clean or machines to maintain
- Wearing a nightguard can prevent snoring and teeth grinding
- Less expensive in the long run
If you have symptoms of sleep apnea or already have been diagnosed, our dental team can create a customized OSA appliance to control your sleep disorder. Contact us at Scott A. Babin, DDS and Associates in Renton or Edmonds to schedule a sleep apnea treatment consultation.
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