Sleep apnea — a sleeping disorder marked by frequent pauses in breathing triggered by airway obstructions — is well-known for the intense snoring it causes.
Beyond snoring, however, untreated sleep apnea can leave sufferers feeling exhausted and with head pain in the morning. Furthermore, sleep apnea can lead to fatigue, hypertension, an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and other problems.
To treat this condition, many people rely on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines to provide a steady stream of air to keep their airways open and prevent nightly pauses in breathing.
In this blog, David Epstein, DDS, and Nikita Vakil, DMD, of The Woodlands Dental Group in The Woodlands, Texas, share their top tips for caring for your CPAP machine. And, if you don’t want a CPAP machine, or if you’d like to try another option, they discuss the benefits of oral appliances.
Because mold and mildew thrive in warm, moist places, an unclean CPAP machine — especially one with a heated humidifier — can quickly be overtaken by mold growth. If your machine isn’t cleaned thoroughly, you run the risk of:
Cleaning your machine can help you stay healthy and extend the life of your CPAP machine.
The most important tip is to always follow the cleaning guidelines for your specific equipment. The following are some general tips that can help you take care of your machine:
When cleaning the parts of your CPAP machine, use warm water and mild dish soap. Use an antibacterial dish soap, if possible.
If your CPAP machine has a filter, be sure to read the instruction manual. Some filters must be replaced at specific intervals, while others can be rinsed, dried, and reinserted.
While CPAP machines can help improve the sleep quality and overall health of people who have sleep apnea, many people struggle with their CPAP machines. Some people struggle to get comfortable with the mask. Others feel claustrophobic with the apparatus on their face all night. Still, others dislike the cleaning routine associated with owning and using a CPAP machine.
If you fall into any of these categories, know that a CPAP machine isn’t the only option for treating sleep apnea. We offer oral appliances, which are customized mouth pieces that fit inside your mouth.
The appliance is tailored to your unique anatomy, and it gently repositions your tongue and jaw into a more forward position while you sleep. This slight adjustment is often enough to keep the airway open, so you can breathe freely while you sleep.
To learn more about treating sleep apnea, including getting an oral appliance, call 281-367-3085 to book an appointment with The Woodlands Dental Group today.