If you hear complaints about your snoring habits, you are not alone. Sleep apnea affects around 22 million Americans, with 80 percent of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) cases going undiagnosed. This serious condition can affect your sleep partner, family, coworkers and friends. Your energy, health and work productivity can diminish from poor sleep quality.
What is a Mandibular Advancement Device?
Our sleep specialists can improve your sleep quality with a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). As a jawbone and mandibular advancement device, a MAD works by advancing or moving your jaw forward so you can sleep without snoring. If you’ve ever seen an athletic mouth guard, you’ll understand how this device looks.
Sleep apnea causes you to experience partial airway obstruction to and from the lungs because of tongue or throat tissue collapse. The MAD device lessens blockages arising in the back of your throat as it moves your jaw and tongue forward to clear the area by making the upper airway bigger.
Your MAD will need to be fitted in your mouth and molded to your teeth. A good MAD advances your jaw forward incrementally until the proper balance between the back of your tongue and soft tissues in your throat is achieved and effectively halts your snoring!
You can get one of three kinds of Mandibular Advancement Devices: Boil and Bite MADs, Semi-Custom Devices and Custom Dental MADs.
1. Boil and Bite MADs: You can find these in your local pharmacy or by ordering online. You simply mold it to your mouth by warming it in hot water, letting it cool a bit, then inserting it into your mouth and biting down. It allows the silicone to mold to your mouth.
2. Semi-Custom Devices: You’ll need to get a custom mold of your bite and then send it out for customizing to your mouth.
3. Custom Dental MADs: Our sleep specialists can have your made custom-made to perfectly fit in your mouth and refined for a comfortable fit that can be adjusted incrementally.
However, you won’t be able to use a MAD while wearing dentures. But you can try wearing a Tongue Stabilizing Device (TSD) instead because it doesn’t sit on or attach to your teeth, unlike a MAD. A TSD effectively treats snoring and sleep apnea by holding your tongue forward while wearing dentures. If you have sleep apnea, we can help you find the best solution for your symptoms and snoring.
Maintenance Tips for Your MAD
Caring for your MAD is pretty straightforward; treat it like it is an extension of your teeth. You’ll want to get rid of bacteria and germs like you would when wearing dentures or clear aligners to straighten teeth. Soaking in hot water or with a denture solution can help as you clean it with a toothbrush. While some use mouthwash or toothpaste to disinfect the device, these chemicals can be harsh and abrasive, potentially damaging your device. It can take up to a week to achieve optimal comfort with your jaw as it is pushed forward while wearing your MAD.
If you are afflicted with chronic snoring, our sleep specialists invite you to call us to learn more about sleep apnea and how best to treat it. We have helped many people just like you once again get the quality sleep they need for a healthier and more productive life!