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Traveling this holiday season? Avoid the bulky CPAP machines with another alternative: a fitted oral appliance

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The holidays are around the corner which means the travel season is about to kick into full gear.

If you suffer from sleep apnea, a condition known for heavy snoring, obstructed breathing and disrupted sleep, you may use a CPAP machine. A CPAP machine uses pressurized air delivered via a fitted face mask (connected to an electric machine) to keep airways open.

Traveling with a CPAP machine and its parts can be a real pain, especially on a plane! But for some people with sleep apnea, there’s an alternative to a CPAP machine. Our dental sleep experts at  Sleep Better Austin say a fitted oral appliance may be a more convenient and comfortable option. And traveling with it is definitely easier!

Both devices are effective at alleviating sleep apnea symptoms for a more healthful and restful night’s sleep, but they each work differently. Oral appliance therapy consists of a small mouthguard-type device worn inside the mouth to position the jaws for optimal airflow and prevent airways from becoming obstructed.

“Oral appliances are an excellent alternative to the more cumbersome and traditional CPAP machines, especially when traveling,” says Sleep Better Austin’s dental sleep expert, Dr. Brandon Hedgecock. “With all of the extra items necessary for safe travel now during the pandemic–such as face masks and shields, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes–a smaller, easier to pack oral appliance just makes more sense than a bulky machine.”

According to the AAST (American Association of Sleep Technologists), in addition to portability and convenience, fitted oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea offers both better comfort and cost-effectiveness over a CPAP machine as they require less care and maintenance.

To learn more about sleep apnea treatment and if a customized, fitted oral appliance can improve your sleep quality, please contact us to schedule a complimentary appointment with one of our experts in dental sleep medicine. For all of our Sleep Better Austin patients who are traveling this holiday season, we wish you a safe and healthy journey to your destination and remind you to take the necessary precautions to protect you and your families.