While snoring is a common problem for many people, it can also be a major sign of other complications that can affect your health. It is estimated that more than 80 million people in North America snore while sleeping, which not only affects the quality of their sleep, but that of their loved ones, such as spouses, children, and other family members. Luckily, there is a way to treat chronic snoring.
What causes snoring?
Snoring can be the result of several factors. Typically, it is caused by the relaxing of the muscles and soft tissues in the throat and mouth, which contract the airway. The decrease in space through the air passage makes it harder for each breath to get through. When it does, it moves over the soft tissues in the mouth and throat, and causes a vibration that results in the snoring sound. Other causes of snoring may include:
- Excess body weight
- Alcohol consumption
- Certain sleep aides or sedatives
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
What is a mandibular advancement device?
If you snore at night, then a mandibular advancement device (MAD) may represent a solution and a better night’s sleep! The MAD is a specially designed dental device to be worn at night. It gently keeps the lower jaw, or mandible, in a forward position, increasing the space within the air passage and helping you to breathe better and get a full, quiet night’s sleep.
MADs are usually small plastic devices worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft throat tissues from collapsing and obstructing the airway. They do this by bringing your lower jaw forward and/or lifting your soft palate. Some devices also stop the tongue from falling back over your windpipe. Your dentist will fit these special appliances to meet your individual condition.
Is a MAD comfortable?
The answer is simple: YES! A mandibular advancement device is made to be comfortable so you can sleep without even noticing you’re wearing it. It does not prevent you from breathing with your mouth open and will even eliminate snoring for patients with sinus congestion or allergies.
You may experience some slight stiffness of the jaw for the first few mornings after wearing the device; however, this feeling is only temporary and will go away after you wake up and remove it.
To learn more about a mandibular advancement device, contact our practice and schedule an appointment and consultation. A better night’s sleep starts here!