Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece: What is it, Benefits, Side Effects, Precautions, Price, and Where to Buy. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea– a common and potentially life-threatening sleep disorder in which breathing is partially obstructed while sleeping, there are different treatment options you can try out, of course with a recommendation from your doctor.
One of the most widely used and effective treatment options is the Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece.
What is a Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece?
There are two types of sleep apnea;
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Central Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common and less severe compared to Central Sleep Apnea.
If you’ve been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend a sleep apnea mouthpiece.
A sleep apnea mouthpiece is an oral appliance commonly recommended for the treatment of sleep apnea. This device must be fitted by an orthodontist or dentist and should only be worn during the night.
There are two main types of sleep apnea mouthpiece devices;
- Mandibular Advancement Device
- Tongue Retaining Device
Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)
It is the most popular and widely used mouthpiece for sleep apnea. The MAD pretty much looks similar to the mouthguards used in sports.
The mouthpiece works by repositioning your lower jaw to a slightly more forward position, allowing your airway to stay open throughout the night. It basically manipulates the jaw bone in such a way that the posterior airspace is enlarged, thus preventing frequent airway obstructions.
Another commonly used mouthpiece is the Tongue Stabilization Device (TSD). Although it’s not as popular as the Mandibular mouthpiece, it does a great job of reducing the effects of sleep apnea as well as snoring.
When fitted, the TSD prevents your tongue from falling into the back of your throat, which in turn prevents your airway from being blocked.
How these two mouthpieces work is based on the basic concept that if your jaw is repositioned to a slightly forward position, the airway will stay open and clear for you to breathe without any obstructions.
Depending on the severity of your disorder, you are likely to benefit a lot from using a sleep apnea mouthpiece. Using this mouthpiece will certainly allow you to have a good night’s sleep while reducing your risk of developing life-threatening complications.
Here are some of the benefits of using a mouthpiece to treat your sleep apnea.
- Reduces the Severe Effects of Sleep Apnea.
- Quick Improvement- Many patients see improvement only a few days after using a mouthpiece.
- Perfect for use in conjunction with PAP therapy.
- Easy to fit
- Decreases daytime fatigue.
- Can be adjusted according to your specific needs.
- Helps improve sleep quality.
- Reduces the risk is serious health complications such as stroke, diabetes, and even death.
- Compact and portable- perfect for people who travel or camp a lot.
- A more affordable option compared to CPAP devices.
- Energy conservation- does not use electricity.
Read more about Angina Pectoris Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Side Effects of Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece
Sleep apnea mouthpieces do have some shortcomings. It’s therefore important to be aware of them before deciding to use them.
- May cause complications with the temporomandibular joint- arthritis of the temporomandibular joint.
- May cause excessive production of saliva.
- May cause excessive lip dryness
- May cause pain
- Prolonged use may cause altered bite and movement of teeth.
These devices also have a few drawbacks including;
- Must be custom fitted- there is no one size fits.
- Uncomfortable to wear especially with prolonged use.
- Limited life expectancy- some devices last for about 6- 24 months.
- Difficult to monitor compliance.
While these devices are effective in treating sleep apnea, they are not perfect. It’s therefore important to take necessary precautions when using them.
- Choose a fitting mouthpiece to avoid complications such as pain and excessive daytime fatigue.
- Should you experience any pain or changes in your bite, consult your orthodontist or dentist who will make the necessary modifications to fix the problem before it leads to serious complications.
- Go for regular checkups and replace the mouthpiece if need be.
- Only purchase a mouthpiece that has been approved by the FDA.
- Consult your doctor if you experience teeth grinding while using a mouthpiece to prevent teeth damage.
Where to Purchase and Price
You can easily find a sleep apnea mouthpiece on popular online stores such as Amazon and eBay.
The price of the mouthpiece may range depending on the brand. The price range for most brands is $10-$50
Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder that if not treated fast can cause serious health complications and in some cases, death. This article provides you with a detailed overview of a sleep apnea mouthpiece to help you make an informed decision when purchasing.