caret icon Back to all discussions

Dental devices for sleep apnea

I have been using a C pap for 7 years now. Besides the issues with traveling with the machine, dry eyes and mouth, disturbing my husband when I knock it out of placement, I have over the past year begin grinding or biting down hard on my teeth. I have been advised to get a bite guard but have recently been looking into dental device to replace my C pap as I just can't see doing both. Has anyone had any experience with such dental devices?? Do they work? Are they hard to get used to? Any other issues with them?

  1. I am going to my sleep dr in a few weeks and Medicare will pay for the dental device? I am so uncomfortable with any of the masks, marks on my face, dry mouth dry eyes and just uncomfortable. I sleep with a scarf on my head bec of hair breakage. the dental device sounds like a choice.

    1. @anniefannie Let us know how it goes when you see your doctor. Warmly, Lisa (SleepApnea.Sleep-Disorders.net Team Member and Advocate)

  2. Good information.
    Janet (sleepapnea.sleep-disorders.net)

    1. Thanks for info. Medicare will pay for device so that's not an issue. Will review with Dr about advice of using. I have neuropathy which causes me pain and broke my shoulder last july, also causing me pain and that's when the teeth clenching started. I'm hopeful this will work for me bit we'll see.

      1. Hi

        I used one (the SUAD) for several years when I was diagnosed with upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) and insurance wouldn't cover CPAP as a therapy (I think it will now).

        I didn't mind it, but I found I clenched *more* when using it. I had more headaches than usual and my jaw and neck were sore at first.

        I have since gone on to develop OSA and use CPAP now. I actually prefer it to the device as I know I'm getting more, much better sleep. Your sleep quality and quantity is harder (but not impossible) to confirm with a dental device, and they are almost as expensive as CPAP. Also, I've heard stories of people losing them or their pets destroying them.

        But yes, they are certainly more convenient for travel. However, if you keep yours in your luggage during travel and they lose your luggage, you're going to have to get another one built, which can take several weeks.

        I know there's been a lot of talk about people clenching/grinding (aka bruxism) during the pandemic as a stress response (no doubt, right?), and bite guards are a pretty reliable fix. Simple dental bite guards (not oral devices) are a lot less expensive than full-blown dental devices, which require a custom build.

        As a sleep health professional myself (I am an RPSGT/CCSH), I can tell you that dental devices can work to maintain an open airway for many people with mild to moderate sleep apnea. However, if you have more severe OSA, they may not be as effective as CPAP, which is still considered the gold standard.

        Also, keep in mind that there is a different therapy known as combination therapy which uses both a dental device and CPAP for people with higher severity.

        I would have this discussion with your sleep specialist, in all honesty. So much of what will work and what insurance will pay for depends upon the specifics of your OSA (severity, nature, and cause of your bruxism, adherence rates, etc.)

        Good luck!
        Tamara, community advocate

        or create an account to reply.