How can a Mandibular Advancement Device help you stop snoring? …
Snoring is a whole of life issue, impacting not only the snorer, but also their partner, family and colleagues. The effect is not simply about noise, but about how snoring effects energy, health, lifestyle and work productivity caused by poor sleep. Mandibular Advancement Devices or MAD’s are the answer for many to stop snoring…
What Is A Mandibular Advancement Device?
A mandible (as in Mandibular) is a jawbone and advancement means “the act of moving forward”, which means that an MAD is a gadget that fits in the mouth that moves the jaw forward.
How Does a MAD Work
A MAD helps to stop snoring by diminishing any restriction that occurs in the back of the throat by moving the jaw (and by inference your tongue) forward and away from the back of your throat which increases the size of the upper airway, thus reducing the air resistance that leads to snoring.
Typically, MAD’s fit within the mouth and are molded to your teeth to provide and substantive platform through which the upper jaw acts a fixed frame and the lower jaw is pushed forward. The best MAD’s provide a mechanism through which the advancement of the jaw can be incrementally increased until the ideal balance between the back of the tongue and the soft tissue of the throat is achieved, and snoring stops.
There are three sub-types of MAD:
Boil and bite MAD’s that can be bought from pharmacies and online – the fit is achieved by softening the resin/silicone with hot water, then once cooled slightly, placing in the mouth and clamping down to get a good fit; some of these devices now include the ability to adjust to suit the user
Semi-custom Devices where a user takes a custom mold of their teeth and then sends this away to be custom fitted and a good fit, quality device is returned, again with some ability for incremental adjustment
Custom Dental MAD’s – based on physician referral and custom made by dentists or sleep specialists and delivering a perfect fit and the ability to be refined and fitted by experts
Each of the above has a cost/benefit outcome with costs ranging from $40 for an off the shelf product to $2000 for a custom, dentist fitted solution. Whilst price is not the sole determinant of performance, the more you invest, the more likely you will get a better result to stop snoring.
Sleep physicians often recommend a Sleep Test prior to determining whether a Mandibular Advancement Device is the best solution.
And of course, in order to work properly, you have to wear a MAD while you sleep.
FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Any Side Effects Using A MAD
Because a MAD causes the jaw to move forward for extended periods ie overnight in most cases, and is braced by fitting to your teeth, some discomfort can be experienced, initially and for some enough to warrant stopping usage. The jaw can become sore and stiff, and teeth can ache and move out of alignment. In the extreme, there can be painful wear of the joints and tooth ache.
Clinical testing of MAD’s users has also identified hyper salivation, mouth dryness, tooth discomfort and jaw joint tenderness, but at relatively minor levels, offset well and truly by the benefit of stopping snoring.
How Much Does A MAD Cost
Prices for MAD’s range from $39 to $2000 with the majority of off the shelf devices being between $75 and $150 and custom devices in the $1500-2000 range
How Long Does A MAD Last
Naturally, the frequency of usage and regular cleaning will have an impact on how long a Mandibular Advancement Device will last however, you should expect a minimum of six months and up to two years effective life. Typically you would renew your off the shelf MAD every year and custom MAD’s every 3 years.
Can A MAD be Used With Dentures
No. Most MAD’s are anchored by fitting to your teeth and will not advance the jaw unless so anchored. Denture users should consider a Tongue Stabilizing Device or TSD’s.
Which Is Better, a Mandibular Advancement Device or a Tongue Stabilizing Device
Whether an MAD or TSD or other anti-snoring device is best for you is somewhat a matter of trial and error. We recommend that you consult with your doctor or physician for advice on the best solution for you; at the same time your medical practitioner or specialist can check for other sleep disorder issues such as Sleep Apnea
Does Health Insurance Cover MAD’s
Most medical insurance companies have policies the provide cover for medical sleep devices, however whether you will be covered will depend on the type of policy and depth of coverage; please consult with your health insurance provider for an up to date opinion on the inclusion of MAD’s
Are MAD’s Adjustable
The more modern and contemporary pharmacy or online sourced solutions can include a basic adjustment, with the very best ones offering increments of 1.0mm or 1/16 of an inch. Custom fitted MAD’s also include micro adjustment options.
How Do I Keep My MAD Clean
Placing your MAD in hot water should minimise any build-up of bacteria or germs; regular brushing with toothpaste or soaking in mouthwash will keep things fresh for the life of your Mandibular Advancement Device
Do I Need To Get A MAD Professionally Fitted
Fitting varies with the customisation factor. Normally an off the shelf or bought online MAD is a relatively straightforward device. Simply place the device in hot water, allow to cool, place in your mouth and let the silicone mold to your mouth. Once fitted to your mouth most MAD’s offer incremental adjustments.
Custom MAD’s are general fitted by professional sleep doctors or dentists and have a close and comfortable fit that can also be incrementally adjusted.
Are MAD’s Painful To Wear
Not usually. There may be some discomfort from having the device in your mouth, but experiencing pain would be highly unusual and if you experience pain in any way you should stop wearing the device. It can take a week or so to get completely comfortable with the jaw being held forward with a MAD.
What If Snoring Persists
Sadly there is no guarantee that Mandibular Advancement Devices will resolve your snoring problem. MAD’s don’t work for everyone, particularly if the snoring is in tandem with other health issues, but they do provide improvement for most users. Correct fitting is essential, as is ensuring the device is not damaged or worn out. A change/increase in weight can also have an impact on your snoring as can increasing your consumption of alcohol.
If your MAD does not help you stop snoring, or stops helping, it is time to consider escalating to the next level of stop snoring options:
A Mandibular Advancement Device can often be a good next step to help you or your partner to stop snoring – they are relatively economical and because most can be adjusted they can suit a wide range of snorers.
A great night of sleep could be just around the corner! If you, or someone you care for is struggling with restless sleep, snoring or potential sleep apnea, we invite you to visit the Kerrville clinic for sleep apnea solutions, email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.
Here are some Sleep Apnea Myths and Facts to help you better understand the condition…
Sleep Apnea Fact – #1: It Blocks Your Breathing
Fact. The most common type of the disorder is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. It happens when your tongue, tonsils, or other tissues in the back of the throat block your airway. When you try to breathe in, the air can’t get through. Central sleep apnea is less common than OSA. It means the brain doesn’t always signal the body to breathe when it should.
Sleep Apnea Myths – #2; It Is Just Snoring
Myth. Snoring can be a symptom of the sleep disorder, but there’s a big difference between the two. People with the condition actually stop breathing up to 400 times throughout the night. These pauses last 10 to 30 seconds, and they’re usually followed by a snort when breathing starts again. This breaks your sleep cycle and can leave you tired during the day.
Sleep Apnea Is No Big Deal
Myth. All those breaks in sleep take a toll on your body and mind. When the condition goes untreated, it’s been linked to job-related injuries, car accidents, heart attacks, and strokes.
Only Older People Get It
Myth. Doctors estimate that more than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea. It’s more common after age 40, but it can affect people of all ages. You’re more likely to have the condition if you’re overweight, a man, African-American, or Latino. The disorder also tends to run in families.
Sleep Apnea Is Rare in Kids
Myth. OSA is common in children, affecting as many as 1 in 10. In most cases, the symptoms are mild, and the child eventually outgrows it. But some may start to have behavior troubles or serious medical problems because of it.
Losing Weight Can Help
Fact. You can make sleep apnea symptoms better when you shed even a small percentage of your body weight. If you’re carrying around extra pounds, talk to your doctor about starting a weight loss program. It also helps to quit smoking, so ask about treatments that can help.
Alcohol Will Help You Sleep
Myth. A nightcap may make you drowsy, but it won’t help you get the quality rest you need. Alcohol relaxes the muscles in the back of your throat. That makes it easier for the airway to become blocked in people with sleep apnea. Sleeping pills have the same effect. This is another urban legend to join the sleep apnea myths.
Lying on Your Side Can Help
Fact. If you sleep on your back, gravity can pull the tissues in the throat down, where they’re more likely to block your airway. Sleep on your side instead to open your throat. Certain pillows can help keep you on your side. Some people even go to bed in shirts with tennis balls sewn onto the back.
A Mouthpiece Might Work, Too
Fact. A dentist or orthodontist can fit you with a mouthpiece or oral appliance to ease mild sleep apnea. The device is custom-made for you, and it adjusts the position of your lower jaw and tongue. You put it in at bedtime to help keep your airway open while you sleep.
Surgery Is the Surest Way to Fix Apnea
Myth. For some people, an operation may be able to cure OSA. A good example is a child with large tonsils that block her airway. Doctors can remove the tonsils to solve the problem. Some adults can improve their symptoms with surgery to shrink or stiffen floppy tissues. But that’s not a good choice for everyone. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of an operation before you go that route. Sleep apnea myths are many – and surgery being required to solve OSA is one of them…
CPAP Is an Effective Treatment
Fact. It stands for continuous positive airway pressure. A CPAP machine blows a steady stream of air into your airway. You can adjust the flow until it’s strong enough to keep your airway open while you sleep. It’s the most common treatment for adults with moderate to severe OSA.
Snoring can make for a bad night’s sleep, for you and your bed mate. It may happen because you have obstructive sleep apnea dangers to your health, which is a sign of a bigger problem.
The obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) condition raises your risk for other health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes. It can even make you more dangerous on the road. But when you treat sleep apnea, you can ease or even cure some of these issues.
Here are seven sleep apnea dangers to your health you might face if you have OSA:
1. High blood pressure. If you already have it, sleep apnea can make it worse. When you wake up often during the night, your body gets stressed. That makes your hormone systems go into overdrive, which boosts your blood pressure levels. Also, the level of oxygen in your blood drops when you can’t breathe well, which may add to the problem.
Treatment can make a difference, though. Some people with high BP who get help for sleep apnea will see their blood pressure improve. Their doctors may be able to cut back on their BP medications. (But you shouldn’t stop or change your dose without talking to your doctor first.)
2. Weight gain. Extra pounds raise your chances of getting sleep apnea, and the condition also makes it harder to slim down.
Treatment for OSA can make you feel better, with more energy for exercise and other activities. This can help you lose weight, which can help your sleep apnea.
When you’re overweight, you can have fatty deposits in your neck that block breathing at night. On the flip side, sleep apnea can make your body release more of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you crave carbs and sweets. And when you’re tired all the time, you might not be able to turn the food you eat into energy as efficiently, which can lead to weight gain.
3. Type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnea is common among people with this condition — 80% or more of them may have OSA.
Obesity raises a person’s risk for both disorders. Although studies haven’t shown a cause-and-effect link between sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes, not getting enough shut-eye can keep your body from using insulin properly, which leads to diabetes.
4. Heart disease. People with OSA are more likely to have heart attacks.
Sleep apnea disrupts how your body takes in oxygen, which makes it hard for your brain to control how blood flows in your arteries and the brain itself.
The causes may be low oxygen or the stress of waking up often. Strokes and atrial fibrillation — a fast, fluttering heartbeat — and other sleep apnea dangers are also linked with the condition.
5.Acid reflux. There’s no proof that sleep apnea causes this kind of heartburn, but many people say it’s a problem. Treating reflux seems to improve apnea symptoms for some people, and treating OSA helps symptoms of reflux, sleep doctors say.
6. Car accidents. When you feel groggy, you raise your risk of falling asleep at the wheel. People with sleep apnea are up to five times more likely than normal sleepers to have traffic accidents.
7. Adult asthma. Science hasn’t proven a link to OSA, but people who get sleep apnea treatment may find they have fewer asthma attacks.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
A health clinic may recommend a machine called CPAP, short for continuous positive airway pressure. The machine, with a mask attached by a hose, often takes some getting used to. There are alternative treatments, such as mouth appliances that are less intrusive than CPAP. Make a consultation appointment with us to explore a sleep study and which option is most likely to help you feel better and avoid other health problems. It is important to sleep better and live healthier.
If you you might have sleep apnea symptoms or someone you care for does – then schedule a consultation appointment today and we can help you get that good night sleep. Email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.
“My new apnea treatment gave me my energy back. Now I’m a gym regular and lost 62 lbs!”
I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2004 after a trip to the doctor following a choking incident.The doctor suggested I participate in a sleep study. The results came back and I was diagnosed with Acute Obstructive Sleep Apnea.I started immediately on CPAP therapy. It took three to five months to get used to the feeling of the mask. I never really liked it but always wore it because it was all I had. I underwent orthognathic surgery in hopes of correcting my jaw and curing the apnea. Unfortunately it didn’t work so I was stuck with CPAP.
Then last year I saw an advertisement for the dental appliance. Since my apnea was so severe, the Sleep Center staff were skeptical if the Oral Appliance would work for me. But when I learned it was covered by Medicare I made the call.
My doctor first had me participate in another sleep study with the temporary dental device to see if I might be a candidate, which confirmed that I could. Therefore, I proceeded to make the permanent device. Then I went on to take another sleep test with my permanent device a couple of months ago. The result was amazing. My AHI has dropped so low that even the Sleep Center staff are amazed.
The oral appliance is a dream come true. After some small adjustments the first day, it fits perfectly and is very comfortable. My husband has told me I’m not snoring at all at night and I can feel the difference in how rested I feel. I have so much more energy during the day. I also started going to the gym and have lost 62 pounds! My aches and pains are gone now too. It’s all connected.
I’m really enjoying my retirement now. My husband and I are avid road trippers and whereas before I couldn’t really help with the driving —because I’d get too drowsy— now I can. Plus, not having to lug around the CPAP machine when we travel is a big bonus. We’re planning a big trip to Washington D.C. in the next few months, in total about 3000 miles of driving. And of course, lots of sightseeing!
Life is good.
We invite you, or someone you care for with snoring or restless sleep to visit the Kerrville clinic for a sleep study. Email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.
Sleeping in the same room as a person who snores is no easy task. Snoring is caused by partially blocked airway in the back of your throat. When a person regularly stops breathing and then starts back up again with a gasp of breath, that is an indication of apnea. Sleep Apnea Solutions are available at the Sleep Apnea Kerrville clinic.
Many people suffer from sleep apnea and even kids can have this condition. This is troubling for older people because it can make you prone to cardiac arrest, diabetes, and even hypertension. Patients also tend to grind their teeth. It also has an adverse effect on their cognitive ability which begins to deteriorate and hence this is a very serious issue.
There are ways to help control night time breathing. One of the ways is to use a CPAP or a Bi-PAP machine. The machine has helped many people who snore but at the same time there is reasons why not to use a machine at all. Usually people find the machine uncomfortable for long period of time and its noisy.
There happens to be alternative therapy to using the CPAP machine. A custom oral airway device which you use while you sleep as had positive results like the CPAP. People have found though that this device is easier to use and feels better than the uncomfortable CPAP.
Never take a risk with your life. You are entitled to a sound sleep and lead a healthier and fitter life. In case you or your near and dear ones suffer from this disorder then you should simply call up and schedule an appointment. You will be surprised at how uncomplicated this procedure is.
If you, or someone you care for is struggling with restless sleep, snoring or potential sleep apnea, we invite you to visit the Kerrville clinic for sleep apnea solutions, email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.
A great night of sleep could be just around the corner!
A nice peaceful sleep is interrupted by a really loud noise. You wake up to see what is going on and it is your loved one snoring next to you. Those loud gasping snores are enough to make you want to leave and sleep in the next room. This is called sleep apnea. But, before you sleep in a different room, let’s take a look at what causes snoring and how you can help remedy this annoying, yet serious health issue.
Sleep apnea is caused by a partial blockage of your airway back in your throat area. Usually if you hear someone snoring then stop, you are about to witness a sleep apnea problem. People who stop breathing while sleeping are experiencing an “apnea” that can be life threatening. This condition affects a very large amount of the population. It can be caused by weight gain since the extra pounds will compress the diaphragm as you lay down. Tackling this issue early can save you many sleepless nights.
Obstructive sleep apnea will increase your risk for a heart attack and also a stroke by some 300-400%! It can also increase your blood pressure, make it hard to control diabetes and also has been shown to decrease you life expectancy by 10-20 years. Sleep apnea and lack of quality sleep has even been shown to decrease cognitive thinking ability over time. Who knew that getting sound sleep at night could affect our overall health so much!
Treatment for sleep apnea can include CPAP or BI-PAP breathing machines. What these will do is help deliver air to keep your airway from collapsing. It has been shown to be very effective at controlling obstructive sleep apnea and snoring, and if you have severe apnea. These devices are rather uncomfortable.
As an alternative, ask us about an oral dilator for use at night. It is a device that is similar to a retainer that will help keep your tongue from falling back into your throat. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends this concept as first line therapy for anyone diagnosed with mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
If you think you have sleep apnea or a loved one does, then you should schedule an appointment today and we can help you get that good night sleep. Just email or call us at (830) 890-5225.
August 04th, 2017
Written by Sleep Apnea Kerrville,
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