May 15, 2017

There are many types of sleep apnea devices on the market today. If you suffer from daytime drowsiness, you actually may be experiencing sleep apnea at night. Two major types of sleep apnea devices are available to help you get a better night’s sleep: traditional CPAP machines and custom-fitted dental sleep devices.

What is sleep apnea? 

Sleep apnea is a medical condition that occurs when your airways constrict or close briefly while you’re sleeping. During these moments, your brain awakens and reacts to keep you breathing. This may happen many times a night, leaving you tired during the day.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring
  • Gasping during sleep
  • Memory and focus problems
  • Dry mouth or sore throat in the morning

Types of sleep apnea devices 

Fortunately, effective treatments can resolve sleep apnea problems. Sleep apnea devices help to prevent your airways from constricting or closing. You may have heard of a CPAP machine—the most common sleep apnea treatment for many years. Now, however, many types of sleep apnea devices are available, so you can find the option that works best for you.

CPAP machines

A continuous positive airway pressure—or CPAP—machine keeps your airways open by softly blowing air through them. A mask is worn over the mouth while the device pushes air through a tube. Similar sleep apnea devices include VPAP (variable positive airway pressure) and APAP (automatic positive airway pressure).

These devices provide relief for many, but some people find a sleep apnea machine difficult to get used to—and it may not be necessary.

Dental sleep appliances

A dental sleep appliance is like a mouth guard that you wear at night. Custom-fitted by a dentist, these devices position your jaw for better air movement. They are sometimes called mandibular advancement devices (MAD).

Many different brands and options are available. A highly-trained dentist can talk to you about which sleep apnea mouth guard will be the best fit for you.

Is a dental sleep appliance or CPAP machine better? 

For many people, a CPAP machine may be too uncomfortable or noisy and an oral appliance for sleep apnea may be a better option. Even if you’ve never tried a sleep apnea machine, you may have success with a dental sleep appliance. Using a mouthpiece for sleep apnea is easier and more comfortable, so it may be a good first line treatment.

Your dentist will work closely with you to figure out the best option for your case of sleep apnea. They may have you complete a take-home sleep survey or even visit a sleep doctor to determine the extent of your symptoms.

Are you ready to find a better night’s sleep? Dr. Hanna Mansoor is committed to helping her patients find relief with the least invasive sleep apnea devices that will work for them. Contact our Gilbert, AZ dentist office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mansoor to talk about your sleep apnea options.