If you have sleep apnea or think you have it, you may have heard about or even tried CPAP therapy for yourself. While CPAP machines are the gold standard for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea, they aren’t the best option for everyone. Adjusting to the lifestyle required by owning a CPAP machine can be difficult, and many people become discouraged when they can’t find a good mask fit, can’t tolerate the constant pressure, or simply can’t afford the financial burden.
Luckily, there are CPAP alternatives, such as oral appliances (sometimes called Sleep Apnea Mouthguards), that can provide relief. The MyTAP Oral Appliance from Airway Management is one such device and can be a good option for those who want to treat their Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) but find CPAP machines inconvenient or uncomfortable.
The MyTAP Oral Appliance fits easily into your mouth and helps control your airflow and reduce snoring while you sleep. Although some may experience discomfort, the MyTAP is much smaller than a CPAP machine and much less intrusive than CPAP therapy. It’s also much more affordable than a CPAP machine and can be made even more affordable if you have health insurance.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing the MyTAP Oral Appliance for sleep apnea. We’ll take a look at everything you need to know, from how it works and its unique features to possible downsides and alternatives if this particular appliance doesn’t help you get the rest you need.
Keep reading our MyTAP Oral Appliance review to learn more about this unique CPAP alternative that’s been helping many people find relief from sleep apnea and eliminate their snoring to sleep soundly through the night.
What is The MyTAP Oral Appliance?
The MyTAP Oral Appliance uses a mouthpiece and adjustment mechanism to move your jaw into an optimal position to keep your airway from collapsing. It is small and travels easily, making it an ideal solution for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea whether you’re at home or on the road.
The MyTAP Oral Appliance is built to mold specifically to the shape of your mouth for a custom fit. Initially, you’ll use boiling water to soften the MyTAP for fitting, and if it begins to wear out over time or lose its shape, it can be boiled and re-fit as many times as needed!
MyTAP has been approved by the FDA for treating mild to moderate OSA and general snoring. TAP appliances, including MyTap, have been researched in 45 independent, peer-reviewed studies and are the most-reviewed oral appliances.
MyTAP Oral Appliance reviews from both providers and those that have tried it suggest that although the appliance may take a couple of days to get used to, it is comfortable overall and helps improve sleep quality for most that use it.
MyTAP Oral Appliance Features
The basic MyTAP Oral Appliance comes with a precision-fit tray and a three-part adjusting system, though there are also three optional accessories that we’ll look at later.
MyTAP trays are constructed from a flexible material that is meant to fit comfortably in your mouth. They are placed against your teeth so the device can adjust your entire jaw to the correct position.
As mentioned earlier, you can adjust the mouthpiece of the MyTAP to the exact fit of the upper and lower parts of your jaw. Fitting the MyTAP is easy and straightforward; simply place the upper and lower pieces into boiling water one at a time to soften. This will take only a minute, and you can remove your tray from the water when it is completely clear.
After it cools down for twenty seconds, you’ll want to place it in your mouth and align the center with your nose, then bite down. After one minute, you can massage the tray into shape around your gums with your fingers and tongue, then allow the tray to cool for another three minutes before removing it. Then, repeat the same process for your bottom tray.
All in all, this will take about 15 minutes and can be done as often as necessary. The precision-fit trays will continue to cool and tighten for 24 hours (though you won’t need to wait before you use them), and cold water can speed up the process.
Three-Part Adjusting System
A rotating adjustment knob is used to achieve airway management with the MyTap Oral Appliance. The adjuster is attached to both the upper and lower portions of the tray and moves your jaw into the proper position for a more open airway.
The adjuster has three pieces: the adjustment mechanism, which is a tube on the upper tray, the adjustment post on the lower tray that slides into the adjustment mechanism, and the adjustment dial that screws onto the adjustment post.
To find the best fit, rotate the adjustment dial 180 degrees counterclockwise every two to three nights until you see an improvement in your sleep quality and a reduction in your snoring.
There are also three optional accessories that can help you create an even more customized fit and bring more comfort to your overall experience. They are:
- The Mouth Shield: The mouth shield can prevent excess saliva or dry mouth that may develop when using MyTAP. It slips over the mouthpiece to create a seal in the mouth, which also encourages breathing from the nose. For some, it makes using the MyTAP Oral Appliance a more comfortable experience.
- The Vertical Shims: The vertical shims, which come in three sizes, create a larger opening in the mouth which can prevent the tongue from impacting your treatment. They are available in six-millimeter, nine-millimeter, and twelve-millimeter sizes, though these are typically utilized by those who didn’t find success with the standard MyTAP.
- The AM Aligner: The MyTAP places your jaw in a more optimal position for nighttime breathing, so your jaw may feel a bit strange upon waking up. The AM Aligner can help you adjust your bite back to its normal position every morning.
It is important to note that these additional accessories are not a necessity for everyone that tries MyTAP, and some may find that the device works better for them on its own. However, some people may also find them to be necessary for effective treatment.
If you try the MyTAP and it doesn’t work for you, consult your healthcare provider to see if any of the optional accessories might make your treatment more effective.
Drawbacks of the MyTAP Oral Appliance
The main drawback of the MyTAP Oral Appliance—which is really just a complaint associated with oral appliances in general—is that it can cause discomfort for some users. That said, there’s no shortage of customer testimonials praising MyTAP for helping them sleep through the night without choking or gasping for air. You may find that the slight discomfort you experience is a small price to pay after you’ve had a few nights to adjust to using an oral appliance.
Although the device is smaller and more comfortable than other sleep apnea devices, some people with sensory issues simply cannot tolerate anything in their mouth while they sleep. If you are one of these people, you may want to explore some of the alternative airway-opening methods in the next section.
If you are exploring oral appliances to treat snoring or mild to moderate OSA, it’s likely you’ve already explored the option of a CPAP machine. So, we’ll offer some alternative sleep apnea treatments that you may find more comfortable than CPAP machines and oral appliances.
One of the best ways to treat sleep apnea is by changing your lifestyle. In many cases, decreasing alcohol consumption and smoking, losing weight, and changing sleep positions can help alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. Some find that sleeping on their side drastically reduces the number of apneas they experience in a night compared to when they sleep on their back.
Surgery can also be an option for treating sleep apnea. Although a more invasive option and one we only recommend as a last resort, it can often be a permanent solution. Many procedures can alleviate or even eliminate Obstructive Sleep Apnea symptoms and typically deal with the jaw, tonsils, pharynx, or soft palette tissue removal. Consult your healthcare provider to see if surgery may be an option for you.
EPAP devices like the Bongo Rx can also be helpful for those with mild OSA and works by using the pressure of your own exhalation to hold your airway open. Alternatively, a humidifier might be able to open your airways a bit more for easier breathing, though the effect is typically mild.
Lastly, you might experiment with different pillow heights, as the angle your head rests at plays a direct role in airway obstruction. Some people find that a simple wedge pillow that holds the upper body at an incline while you sleep can help manage sleep apnea symptoms as well.
Overall, the MyTAP Oral Appliance can be a great alternative to CPAP machines. We hope our MyTAP Oral Appliance review was helpful in bringing you closer to making a decision for treating your OSA.
MyTAP is a great option for those who experience snoring or live with mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea and desire a quieter, more comfortable way to open their airways.
The one-time investment, highly customizable design, abundance of peer-reviewed research, and portability of this device are our favorite things about MyTAP. With far fewer uncomfortable side effects than CPAP therapy or more invasive options like surgery, this low-cost device may be the missing piece you need to reclaim your sleep for good.
If you think the MyTAP Oral Appliance will help you, it is available and ready to ship at CPAP.com. Know that this product does require a prescription, so be sure to consult a doctor before ordering.