In the United States, sleep apnea is a common problem that can lead to different health issues and is usually treated with the highly effective CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. However, most people find the CPAP machine uncomfortable discouraging them from using it as prescribed.
The machine will give less optimal results when you don’t use it consistently. Besides, there are several alternatives to this CPAP machine and a recent study shows that the results are equally useful. Users confirm using the other options diligently hence giving them accurate results since they are less problematic. One of the said treatments usually provided by the dentists is the sleep apnea mouthpiece or MAD (Mandibular Advancement Device).
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when you suddenly stop breathing during sleep. It’s the most common disorder and happens when excess tissue blocks the airway at the furthest end of the throat. Most people usually associate obstructive sleep apnea with obesity and has also been linked to stroke and cardiac arrest in most severe cases.
What is a CPAP Machine and Does it Have Any Disadvantages?
The CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine is commonly used in treating obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP treatment typically uses masks put on the face then attached to the machine creating air pressure in your throat consequently opening the air passage. The CPAP works effectively in preventing any breathing related disruptions.
However, the biggest disadvantage is that most patients don’t use the CPAP machine. The users mostly complain that the air pressure creates a feeling of discomfort at the back of the throat while others find the noise from the machine disruptive of sleep. The above drawbacks make some users to decline using the machine or cause them to use it inconsistently even when the doctor says its necessary.
How Sleep Apnea Mouth Guards Work
Mandibular Advancement Device typically resembles a mouth guard usually made by the dentist. Research shows that the device is quite efficient and effective when it comes to treating obstructive sleep apnea and equally helps prevent snoring.
Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) moves the jaw towards the front increasing the airway size thereby reducing resistance which in turn makes breathing easier. Your dentist will make you a customized mouth guard for your condition after the doctor examines you and determines that MAD is the only perfect fit. However, patients are usually advised against using generic mouth guards from online stores since they are generally ineffective.
Advantages of Using Sleep Apnea Mouth Guards
From the National Institute of Health Reports desk, CPAP machines are known to be the best sleep apnea treatment but MADs are also up to task and work more effectively since most patients prefer to use them. Besides, the NIH report also indicates that MADs do the most when it comes to boosting the user’s life quality in overall. They are easy to sue compared to the CPAP machines, are less invasive and smaller which makes them more user-friendly and convenient.
Mandibular Advancement Devices are also slightly inexpensive than the CPAP machines. Plus, most custom-made mouth guards are usually covered by Medicare and insurance companies.
Are Sleep Apnea Mouth Guards Effective?
From the National Institute of Health analysis, it’s right to say that MADs are the most effective alternative to CPAP machines. Patients use them more regularly guaranteeing accurate results as opposed to the CPAP that is used irregularly by most users. However, obese patients mostly require CPAP treatment as the mouth guard may be less beneficial to them.
According to the National Institute of Health, MADs are only effective in cases where obstructive sleep apnea is reported to be moderate or mild. However, a mouth guard can still be recommended in severe cases when CPAP treatment is not working well for the user. From a researcher’s point of view, doctors should advise patients accordingly on the ideal treatment methods and go over the advantages and disadvantages of every option.
Sleep Apnea Mouth Guards and The Dentist
Recent study shows that treating a potentially deadly and severe health condition using a mouth guard can be more effective than employing a complicated machine to treat sleep apnea. It’s important to make the treatment more comfortable and convenient for all patients and research shows that most patients prefer using MADs to the CPAP machines every night.