The gold standard for treatment of sleep apnea is the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine which includes a facial mask and air compressor. The CPAP is a treatment option delivered by a machine worn at night or during times of sleep. It provides pressurized air through a mask which prevents the upper airway from collapsing. There are many types of masks that fit into or over the nose or cover the nose and mouth snugly. Some patients have difficulty with getting a mask to fit or feel comfortable. The inability to move freely in bed, machine noise, mouth and sinus dryness and lack of portability are issues with CPAP.
Mandibular Advancement Appliances (MAD) are appropriate in cases of mild to moderate Sleep
Apnea, or in cases when the patient cannot or will not wear the CPAP mask. MAD must be fitted
on healthy teeth and gums with proper oral hygiene. Patients may notice tooth movement, jaw
tenderness, change of occlusion, increased salivation or dryness as a result of wearing the
appliance. Some of these symptoms can be temporary.
Your physician may initially recommend a change in lifestyle and diet including: weight loss if you
are overweight, adjusting your sleep position by sleeping on your side instead of your back,
reducing your alcohol intake and use of sedatives. If the condition persists despite these changes,
your physician will recommend other treatment options.
Sleeping Position and Apnea
• people with severe or moderate OSA have more episodes when they sleep on their back
• by learning to sleep on their right or left side patients are able to reduce these episodes
• right side sleeping is preferable but either is better than sleeping on the back
At Dr. Richardson’s clinic, we offer a primary treatment option that includes the use of a custom dental appliance designed to open the area in the back of the throat. The dental appliance has proven effective in treating patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea as well as patients who are unable or unwilling to wear their CPAP mask. This option is a cost comparable solution that is easy to use and eliminates the discomfort experienced with the CPAP device.