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CPAP Equipment: CPAP Masks: Oral

Oral CPAP Masks

Oral CPAP Mask Overview

Oral CPAP masks use an oval cushion to seal around the mouth and delivers air through two plastic inlets inside mask. An inside flap rests between your teeth and lips and a second curls over your lips to keep the mask stable. This design is great for users who experience frequent nasal congestion. Users without congestion typically find that air blown in their mouth through the mask escapes through their nose and dries their airway. While the design concept is innovative, user reviews show that there is still much work to be done with this style of CPAP mask.

Oral FAQs

Why might I need an oral face mask?

An individual who cannot breathe through their nose at all due to a severely deviated septum, nasal congestion or facial injury may find the delivery of the CPAP air stream through only the mouth preferable to a full face mask which delivers air to both the nose and mouth.

Oral masks deliver airflow only to the mouth. The nasal openings or nares are closed with nose plugs. It is highly recommended to use a heated humidifier with an oral mask. Most users find there is a period of adjustment while becoming accustomed to an oral delivery mask.
Oracle HC452 Oral CPAP Mask

How do I care for my mask?

Masks should be washed daily with warm water using a very gentle soap or baby shampoo, and left to air dry. Never use antibacterial soap as it will break down the silicone of the mask cushion. Avoid soaps that include lotion which can coat the mask and cause it to lose its seal. A safe cleaner is the Control III Disinfectant CPAP Cleaning Solution. Remember, going to bed with a clean face will improve your seal and protect the lifespan of your mask. Citrus Mask Wipes
The best time to clean your mask is in the morning after use. This removes the oils left behind from your skin which can reduce the lifespan of your mask. We recommend using mask wipes to make daily morning cleaning easy. The mask wipes are made from materials that will not break down your mask.
Citrus Mask Wipes

How often should I replace my mask?

Medicare allows for mask cushion replacement every three (3) months, and a complete mask system replacement every six (6) months. CPAP manufacturers and vendors suggest these replacement schedules as well.

In our experience, most mask cushions begin to deteriorate after about six months of use. The cushion eventually becomes too soft to hold a seal. The headgear straps lose elasticity and must be tightened more and more to get the same quality seal.

We strongly suggest replacing cushions and pillows as soon as they start to soften. Air leaks may reduce the effectiveness of CPAP therapy and headgear that is too tight may cause facial sores at pressure points. In most cases, replacement headgear is available if it is stretched out or the Velcro worn out.

To see what parts of your mask are replaceable refer to our Replacement Part Finder. Just search for your mask to see all of the replaceable parts.

I have a deviated septum, what mask should I choose?

With a deviated septum, you likely breathe through your mouth. A mask that delivers air to the nasal passageway will not be as effective as one that delivers air to the mouth. A full face mask, hybrid mask, or an oral mask will serve you well.

If you awake in the morning to find your mouth is dry, then you are most likely breathing through your mouth, and one of these masks will work for you. See our masks for Mouth Breathers.

I breathe through my mouth, what are my options?

People who have a deviated septum or small nostrils, or suffer from seasonal allergies or chronic sinus issues, may breathe through the mouth rather than the nose. If you are a person who breathes through your mouth you may be able to wear most masks with a few adaptations. Add a chinstrap if using nasal pillows, nasal prongs or a nasal mask.
Sullivan Chinstrap

A full face mask or hybrid mask can be used without a chinstrap because the seal covers both the nose and mouth. A full face mask will allow you to breathe through your mouth or through your nose.

If you suffer from chronic sinus issues, a full face mask or an oral face mask are good options. Oral masks work best for mouth breathers with blocked nasal passages. You must use a heated humidifier with the oral mask. CPAP.com sells the Oracle HC452 Oral CPAP mask.

If you are a mouth breather who does not want to or cannot wear a chinstrap, please see our recommended masks for Mouth Breathers.

I sleep on my side or stomach, what are my options?

Sleeping on your side or stomach is preferable to sleeping on your back because sleeping on your back worsens all forms of sleep-disordered breathing. However, sleeping on your side or stomach can present problems with CPAP therapy. Both positions can put pressure on one side of your mask increasing your leak rate. Your options are to (1) try a mask that other side sleepers like (2) try bed pillows made for CPAP users.

  • Masks: We have found some masks allow for movement in sleeping position better than others. See our recommended masks for Active or Side/Stomach Sleepers.

  • Special CPAP Pillows: Regular bed pillows can put pressure against the mask and cause leaks. CPAP pillows are made with CPAP users in mind. These special pillows are designed to minimize the contact of the CPAP mask with the pillow, even when you are sleeping on your side.
    SleePAP CPAP Pillow

What type of mask works for people with full beards?

Full face masks work well for CPAP users with full beards. One tip is to smooth the beard with lanolin to soften the beard where the seal makes contact.

Nasal Pillow Masks are also liked by full bearded CPAP users. If you are a person who breathes through your mouth remember to use a chinstrap.

Total face masks encompass the entire face and can be an option for people with facial hair.

Masks with a gel or foam cushion can also be better with facial hair as they are able to mold better to the face to create a seal.

See our recommended masks for people with Facial Hair.

How can I find replacement parts for my CPAP mask?

For many masks there are parts that are replaceable such as the mask cushion, headgear, headgear clips and other parts. To find parts which are compatible with your mask, or to find which parts of your mask are replaceable, you can:

  • Use our Replace Part Wizard to identify your mask and see all the related parts.
  • Browse for your mask and then click the "Replacement Parts" button on your mask's product page.

How do I choose the mask that is right for me?

We provide our customers with many tools to make informed decisions about their mask purchases. Options include:

  • Calling a CPAP Expert Toll Free. 1-800-356-5221.

  • Comparison Charts. These charts compare available masks, feature by feature. If you're unsure of the meaning of a feature, click on or hover over the question mark for a pop out definition. Click on the image or name of the product for more detailed product information, pictures and resources.

    Compare Most Popular Masks

    Compare All Masks

  • Help Me Choose Guide. We created a guide to help you select the right mask or machine according to your preferences. The guide asks you a series of questions regarding your preferences and your facial features. Based on your answers we provide you with a comparison chart of the masks that meet your criteria. Get started here:

    Help Me Choose - Mask

  • Browse Our Mask Product Categories. These categories show each mask our company offers, ranked by popularity. Popularity is determined by a mix of sales data and our in-house opinion of the quality of the mask based on our experience and customer feedback. The best products float to the top of our categories.

    Nasal Mask Category

    Full Face Mask Category

    Nasal Pillow Mask Category

    Nasal Prong Mask Category

    Hybrid Mask Category

    Oral Mask Category

    Total Face Mask Category

  • Return Insurance. With every mask we sell, you have the option of purchasing Return Insurance. Masks are FDA approved medical devices. Once a mask is used, it cannot be resold to another customer. CPAP.com was the first in the industry to offer Return Insurance to our customers. Return Insurance provides 30 days for you to try a mask and return it for any reason for a refund of the price of the mask. If you are trying a mask for the first time, Return Insurance might be right for you.

How can I compare different masks?

Like our machine comparison chart, we have created a CPAP Mask Comparison Guide to help you compare different masks. This guide stacks up every mask we sell, feature by feature. If you don't know the meaning of a feature, click the question mark for a definition. The links below will take you to the most popular masks, or to the different types of masks we sell.

Compare Most Popular Masks

Compare All Nasal Masks

Compare All Full Face Masks

Compare All Nasal Pillow Masks

Compare All Nasal Prong Masks

Compare All Hybrid Masks

Compare All Oral Masks

Compare All Total Face CPAP Masks

Are prescriptions required for mask, machine and/or humidifier purchases?

Yes. Federal law requires we have a valid prescription on file before we ship your mask, machine and/or humidifier.

We provide many easy ways to get your prescription:

  • We can request your prescription for you! When you checkout, just let us know you would like us to request your prescription, or you can log into your account to have us request your prescription.
  • Fax your prescription to our Toll Free fax number: 1-866-353-2727, or our international fax number: 713-541-7370
  • Email your prescription to cpap@cpap.com
  • Upload your prescription in your account, under the prescriptions section
For more information on prescriptions, please see our Prescription Section of the Learning Center.

What does a mask prescription need to say?

A mask prescription must contain all of the following information:

  • One of the following words or phrases: "CPAP Mask", "CPAP Supplies", "CPAP Humidifier", "CPAP", "Continuous Positive Airway Pressure", "APAP", "AutoPAP", "AutoSet", "Auto CPAP", "Auto Adjusting CPAP", "Self Adjusting CPAP", "BiPAP", "BiLevel", "VPAP", "BiPAP Auto", "BiPAP ST", "Synchrony ST", "VPAP ST"
  • Your physician's contact information
  • Your physician's signature
  • The patient's full name

Why is my mouth dry in the morning?

Dry mouth is a sign that you are opening your mouth while you sleep. If you use a nasal mask, breathing through your mouth bypasses any humidification you may be using so increasing the heat will not be effective. Breathing through your mouth while using a nasal mask reduces the benefit of the CPAP therapy.

First be sure the mask is not leaking. If it is six to nine months old and leaking, try replacing it. If it is new and leaking, we can help you get a better size.

If your mask is new and NOT leaking, try a chinstrap to keep your jaw up and mouth from dropping open during sleep. If a chinstrap doesn't solve the problem, try masks recommended for mouth breathers.

If you use a full face mask and have a dry mouth, try adding a heated humidifier to add moisture.

Why am I congested from CPAP use?

The primary reason why nasal passages sometimes dry out from CPAP use is lack of adequate humidification.

CPAP air is an irritant - to one degree or another - to everyone. The irritation may cause the nasal passages to dry out and bleed, or the mucous membranes may try to protect the nasal passages by producing excess mucous and so congestion results. And the irritation can be cumulative; the problem may develop over time. Furthermore, dry, cracked or bleeding nasal passages are a breeding ground for infection.

Add a heated humidifier to add moisture to the CPAP air and reduce or eliminate the irritation. A passover humidifier may not offer enough moisture. If you are already using a heated humidifier, try turning it up to a higher setting. If that produces condensation in the six foot hose, you should try an insulating cover for the hose. You can also try using a nose lubricant to reduce the dryness.

You can also try using a sinus rinse before going to bed and again once you wake in the morning to help clear your sinuses.
NeilMed Sinus Rinse

What can I do for sinus and congestion relief?

A lot of new CPAP users report having an increase in sinus congestion after starting CPAP therapy. When treating your Obstructive Sleep Apnea, sinus congestion presents a roadblock to healthy breathing. CPAP air is an irritant - to one degree or another - to everyone. The irritation may cause the nasal passages to dry out and bleed, or the mucous membranes may try to protect the nasal passages by producing excess mucous and so congestion results.

The best option is to add a heated humidifier to add moisture to the CPAP air and reduce or eliminate the irritation. If you are already using a heated humidifier, try turning it up to a higher setting. If that produces condensation in the six foot hose, you should try an insulating cover for the hose. Other options are to:

  • Wait and See
  • Visit your the ear/nose/throat doctor, and let them know you are on CPAP therapy.
  • Try using a sinus rinse before going to bed and again once you wake in the morning to help clear your sinuses.
As a general rule, persons with Obstructive Sleep Apnea should avoid using sedating medicines. Sedating medicines relax the muscles of the air passage even more and can effect your apneas. You should consult your doctor before using these types of medicines.

Why is my nose so dried out?

The primary reason that nasal passages sometimes dry out from CPAP use is lack of adequate humidification.

CPAP air is an irritant - to one degree or another - to everyone. The irritation may cause the nasal passages to dry out and bleed, or the mucous membranes may try to protect the nasal passages by producing excess mucous and so congestion results. And the irritation can be cumulative; the problem may develop over time. Furthermore, dry, cracked or bleeding nasal passages are a breeding ground for infection.

Using a heated humidifier to add moisture to the CPAP air may reduce or eliminate the irritation. An unheated, passover humidifier may not offer enough additional moisture. If you are already using a heated humidifier, try turning it up to a higher setting. If that produces condensation in the six foot hose, you should try an insulating cover for the hose. You can also try using a nose lubricant to reduce the dryness.

How do I avoid red marks?

Most red marks on the face are caused by over tightening the CPAP mask. CPAP masks should only be tightened down enough to create a seal. To avoid over tightening your mask, you should work clockwise around the mask, making small adjustments to the headgear, until the mask is securely in place but not overly tight. You should avoid pulling too much on one side of the mask than then other.

By cleaning your mask cushion, nasal pillows, and nasal prongs on a daily basis, you ensure a better seal each time you put on your mask. If you know you have a mask that fits, and are cleaning it daily, and still have red marks, consider using mask straps pads which are soft covering for the headgear straps.

Swift LT Soft Wraps

Why is air leaking from my mouth?

During CPAP therapy, air will leak from the mouth whenever the mouth is opened. This occurs for many reasons, but a very common one is due to nasal irritation from the CPAP airflow.

The correlation between a lack of humidification and mouth leaks has been a topic that was heavily researched. The hypothesis is that a large amount of mouth leakage is caused by the following cycle:

  • CPAP therapy is used with ineffective or no humidification,
  • The nasal membranes are unable to adequately condition the increased airflow and after a few minutes the airway and nasal passages become dry.
  • To remedy the dryness and obtain moisture, the body uses the mouth to breathe.
  • CPAP air follows the path of least resistance and leaks out of the open mouth.
  • The air leaking through the mouth causes more dryness.
  • Patient wakes up feeling tired with significant dryness in mouth and dry, swollen nasal passages.

The answer to this cycle is humidification. If the mouth continues to open during sleep, a chinstrap may be needed to hold the jaw up so that the mouth can close. If mouth breathing continues, a full face mask, hybrid mask, or oral mask is suggested. See our recommended masks for Mouth Breathers.

Why do I wake up to find my mask is off?

People remove their mask during sleep because they are not getting enough air.

The CPAP pressure may be reduced if your mask is leaking. Your mask may be too big or too old. We would suggest you resize your mask to be sure you have the best size. If your mask fits you but is six to nine months old, it should be replaced. As the silicone in the mask cushion ages, it deteriorates and becomes too soft to hold a seal. For many masks, you can get a replacement cushion. See our Replacement Part Finder to see if your mask has a replaceable cushion.

If the CPAP air is being delivered effectively and without leaks, it may be that the pressure is set too low. Pressure settings may require change due to weight gain or loss and aging. You should speak to your doctor if you think your pressure may need to be adjusted.

How do I stop mask leaks?

Air leaks are caused by masks that are too big, too old, or just the wrong style.

Air leaking into the eyes is usually an indication that the mask is too big (long or wide) as are leaks at the base of the nose. Leaks may also occur under the nose due to facial hair.

As the silicone in the mask cushion ages, it deteriorates and becomes too soft to hold a seal. For many masks, the cushion may be removed and replaced to extend the life of the mask. View our Replacement Part Finder to see if a replacement cushion is available for your mask.

When a cushion has softened to the point where it will no longer hold a seal, you may be able to tighten it enough to stop the leaking when you go to sleep, but during the night the seal will loosen and leak.

Mask leaks may also be caused by the pillow pushing against the mask and changing the position and seal of the mask. There are special CPAP pillows which are are designed to minimize the contact of the CPAP mask with the pillow, even when you are sleeping on your side.
Multi-Mask CPAP Pillow

Why do I wake up feeling bloated with air in my stomach and intestines?

Bloating is a sign that you are swallowing the CPAP air. There is no real medical solution, but we have found that sleeping position may be a factor. Try sleeping as flat as possible first, even without a pillow. If that position doesn't help, try sleeping on your side or elevated, whichever one you don't sleep in now.

If changing your position doesn't resolve the problem, talk to your doctor about the possibility of lowering your pressure a bit. It may let a few apneas through, but the trade-off might be worth it.

Which CPAP masks work on which machines?

All CPAP masks work with all machines.

What are the CPAP, BiPAP and Sleep Apnea related CPT or billing codes?

  • EO601 RR is CPAP Rental
  • E0601 NU is CPAP Purchase
  • A7034 is CPAP Mask
  • A7032 is CPAP Nasal mask cushion
  • A7033 is CPAP Nasal pillows
  • A7030 is CPAP Full face mask
  • A7031 is CPAP Full face mask cushion
  • A7044 is CPAP Oral interface
  • A7027 is CPAP Hybrid mask
  • A7028 is CPAP Hybrid mask cushion
  • A7029 is CPAP Hybrid mask nasal pillow
  • A7046 is CPAP Humidifier chamber
  • A7037 is CPAP Tubing, long and short hoses
  • A4604 is CPAP Heated tubing
  • A7038 is CPAP Disposable filter
  • A7039 is CPAP Gross particle (foam) filter
  • A7035 is CPAP Headgear
  • A7036 is CPAP Chinstrap
  • E0561 NU is CPAP Passover humidifier
  • E0562 NU is CPAP Heated humidifier
  • E0470 RR is BiPAP Rental
  • E0470 NU is BiPAP Purchase
  • E0471 RR is BiPAP-ST Rental
  • E0471 NU is BiPAP-ST Purchase

Other CPAP items are listed under E1399, which is miscellaneous.

Does this product contain BPA?

Yes, all CPAP masks and CPAP humidifier chambers either contain BPA or their manufacturer has not released a statement calling their products BPA free. Here is a statement released by Respironics:

Government of Canada Takes Action on Another Chemical of Concern: Bisphenol A

April 25th 2008

To Whom It May Concern

This document represents Respironics' position regarding the use of Bisphenol A in Respironics Sleep and Home Respiratory Devices. On April 18, 2008, the Government of Canada, banned the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in polycarbonate baby bottles, claiming that the exposure to BPA on newborns and infants up to 18 months of age, could potentially present a health risk to this patient group when the polycarbonate baby bottles are exposed to high temperatures.

At this time, we are able to provide the following information to our customer: NONE of our Sleep and Home Respiratory products which are either breathable or skin contacting are intended for use with newborns or infants under 18 months of age. Therefore, Respironics is in compliance with Health Canada's position for exposure for the identified at risk patient population.

Although Health Canada's restriction for BPA does not include products used for ages above 18 months at this time, Respironics is evaluating its product portfolio and will take the appropriate actions to determine and mitigate any potential risk from use of its products or potential exposure to BPA. It should be noted that NOT all polycarbonate resins contain BPA. In response to the direction provided by Health Canada's device licensing division, Respironics will be evaluating all of our Class II and III medical devices to determine if the resins used in the manufacturer of its products contain BPA.

Further, none of our products or accessories using polycarbonate are labeled for exposure.

In closing it is Respironics position that our products do not pots any increased risk of exposure to BPA for our users and thus our products remain safe for use.

If you have any further question regarding this topic, please feel free to contact me at zita.yurko@respironics.com or at 724-387-4120.

Regards,

Zita Yurko Director, Regulatory Affairs Sleep and Home Respiratory Division Respironics, Inc.