Mouthguards are an effective treatment for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, a mouthguard can adjust the position of your tongue as well as the lower portion of your jaw to keep your airways open while you’re sleeping. With open airways, you’ll enjoy continuous airflow in your mouth and a higher quality of sleep.
If you do use a mouthguard to treat your sleep apnea, you will find that is more comfortable and less obtrusive than a CPAP mask. You’ll also find a mouthguard to be small and convenient to travel with and won’t have the issue of a dry, itchy nose that you may have if you’re on CPAP.
At Wainright & Wassel DDS, many sleep apnea patients wonder whether they can purchase a football or sports mouthguard to improve their condition. The answer to this question is no. Sports mouthguards are specifically designed for playing sports and usually only fit around the upper teeth whereas sleep apnea mouthguards mold around the upper and lower teeth.
Also, unlike sports mouthguards, mouthguards that are engineered for sleep apnea cause the lower jaw to remain forward. In addition, sleep apnea mouthguards are considered medical devices that must meet special regulations whereas sports mouthguards can be manufactured without adhering to any rules.
Although they may have a similar appearance, it’s clear that sports mouthguards and sleep apnea mouthguards were designed for different purposes. A sports mouthguard reduces an athlete’s risk of tooth damage while a sleep apnea mouthguard keeps the jaw forward, opens the airways, and prevents snoring.
If you’re tempted to purchase a sports mouthguard to treat your sleep apnea, refrain from doing so as it will not be effective and fail to provide you with results you’ve been longing for. While you may save some money by purchasing a sports mouthguard over a sleep apnea one, you won’t improve your condition.
To find out which sleep apnea mouthguard is right for your case of sleep apnea, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Wainright & Wassel DDS today. Call us at 919-847-1322.