Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic, Sandyford, Dublin, D18 E7P4 l Tel: +353 1 531 0088

Sleep Apnea: Oral Appliances – A Comfortable Alternative to CPAP

If you have sleep apnea, snoring is the least of your worries. When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to complications including daytime fatigue, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and liver dysfunction, among others, so treating sleep apnea is essential for a longer, happier life. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you’re likely wondering about the effectiveness of CPAP vs. oral appliances. While CPAP is the  standard for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), oral appliances, also known as sleep apnea mouthguards, are becoming more and more common as a less invasive treatment option. Oral devices can help keep your airways open to facilitate easier breathing while you sleep.

In the question of CPAP vs. oral appliances, determining which option is best for you is ultimately between you and your healthcare provider. Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, it’s possible that a CPAP machine is going to be the more effective treatment for you. However, if you’re unable to tolerate continuous airway pressure, you may be better suited to an oral appliance that’s more appropriate for mild to moderate OSA.

How Do Oral Appliances Treat Sleep Apnea? 

Those who have difficulty with CPAP may want to try an oral appliance for sleep apnea treatment. A mouthguard for sleep apnea will move your jaw forward to keep your airway open or prevent your tongue from falling into your airway and obstructing your breathing.  

The two main forms of oral appliances are:

  • Tongue Retaining Devices: This style of mouthguard is designed to pull and hold the tongue forward using suction so that it does not collapse backward into the airway. Also known as Tonge Stabilizing Devices (TSD).
  • Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD)Mandibular Advancement Devices typically snap onto the teeth and are fitted by a dentist. They work to hold your jaw more forward to prevent airway obstruction. 

Sleep apnea oral appliances are best used as a substitute for CPAP or for mild to moderate sleep apnea cases. A sleep apnea oral appliance must be professionally fitted by a practice such as the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic. 


  • Easier for Travel Since It Doesn’t Need Electricity To Operate
  • May Be More Comfortable Than a CPAP Mask 
  • Less Expensive Than a CPAP Machine


Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance vs. CPAP: Which is Best? 

Deciding between a sleep apnea mouthguard and a CPAP machine is a decision that only you and your healthcare provider should make together. If you decide on an oral appliance, you may also need to consult your dentist. The best sleep apnea treatment is the one that you use. However, 

Sleep apnea dental appliances can treat mild to moderate sleep apnea by either pushing the jaw forward to open the airway or by preventing the tongue from obstructing your airway. These oral appliances may not be suitable for treating severe sleep apnea. 

Oral devices don’t need a power source, so they can make camping, travel, and sleeping on a plane possible without worrying about getting a travel-sized CPAP machine and a battery to power it. For some people, oral appliances have fewer side effects than CPAP and are more comfortable to wear while sleeping. 

Scientific studies have shown that CPAP is still the most effective choice for most people with sleep apnea who want a healthy night’s sleep. However, research also shows that adherence to dental appliances for treating sleep apnea is higher. 


Final Thoughts

Sleep apnea is more than snoring. The condition results in lost sleep, which can lead to everything from poor decision-making at work to dangerous drowsiness when driving or operating heavy machinery. 

Sleep apnea can stop you from breathing and can result in potentially serious conditions such as obesity and metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. 

Deciding between a CPAP machine and an oral appliance is a personal choice that should be made with the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. Mild to moderate cases can benefit from using an oral appliance, while more severe cases should find more relief with a CPAP machine. Sleep apnea isn’t something you should treat on your own. Sleep medicine professionals can improve your health through the effective treatment of sleep apnea. 

For further information on Sleep Apnoea Treatment, contact us today 




Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic is based in the Beacon Dental Clinic, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Dublin, D18 E7P4, Ireland

Tel: +353 1 531 0088 | Fax: +353 1 213 5645 | Email:




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