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Choosing the Right Mouthguard for Sleep Apnea: Tips from Dr. Morgan

According to research by the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million adults in the United States suffer from obstructive sleep apnea – a disorder in which a person’s breathing is continuously interrupted during sleep. For many of these people, a doctor-prescribed or over-the-counter mouthguard may help to relieve symptoms – and when it comes to choosing a mouthguard, Arizona-based sleep clinic owner and expert Dr. Morgan has several tips for prioritizing the right options.

Tips for Choosing the Right Mouthguard

1. Speak to Your Doctor

The first and most crucial step towards finding the right mouthguard is to schedule an appointment with a sleep apnea specialist. “Professional healthcare providers can help conduct thorough assessments” said Dr. Morgan. A doctor’s diagnosis will help guide the sleep patient towards an appropriate oral appliance, ensuring that the mouthguard not only adheres to medical needs, but also meets the patient’s personal comfort profile.

2. Be Willing to Spend

One of the biggest obstacles to treating obstructive sleep apnea is the steep cost of solutions like CPAP devices and oral appliances. Dr. Morgan advises that people “set aside a reasonable amount” so that financial concerns don’t hinder their search for the right mouthguard. While respiratory specialists can provide guidance regarding which appliances might be best for a particular patient, cost ultimately plays an important role in the decision-making process.

3. Select an Adjustable Mouthguard

In order to maximize comfort, Dr. Morgan recommends that the mouthguard selected be adjustable and custom-fitted. Custom-fitted mouthguards are often more expensive than their over-the-counter counterparts, but statistics show that only 63% of obstructive sleep apnea patients feel their devices are effective. Investing in a comfortable mouthguard with superior fit is critical for improving one’s quality of life.

4. Take Special Quieting Features into Account

Most sleepers experiencing sleep apnea also experience mouth breathing, and the sound of this can often become a sleeping partner’s worst enemy. Just as important as finding a comfortable mouthguard is the task of selecting one with special features to help reduce the sound of breathing. “Most new mouthguards have special plastic or silicone components to help Quiet Apnea” said Dr. Morgan. “I always recommend looking into devices that have these or other Quieting features.”

How to Shop for Mouthguards

Dr. Morgan recommends that those interested in purchasing a mouthguard shop through reputable sources such as private and public clinics, pharmacies, and websites of state sleep associations. Mouthguard purchasing should not be done in haste; instead, consumers are advised to spend time researching the options, and to discuss their findings with their physician to ensure that their choice is best suited for their medical needs.

Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to a variety of serious health issues if left untreated. Fortunately, advances in mouthguard technology have made it possible for many apnea suffers to get the sleep they need with minimal disruption. Before embarking on the journey toward a new mouthguard, experts such as Dr. Morgan recommend taking time to carefully research options, and discuss potential purchases with a sleep apnea specialist.