Treating Snoring & Sleep Apnea in Oxford, MA
The short answer is yes! Some dental appliances are effective at treating snoring.
Snoring is caused by vibrations in the throat when your sinuses and airways are partially obstructed. This can interfere with your normal sleep pattern, resulting in overwhelming daytime fatigue. Snoring that fully obstructs airways is called sleep apnea, and it has been shown to contribute to weight gain, hormonal imbalances, and serious conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
While snoring is not life-threatening by itself, it severely impacts the overall quality of sleep for you and your sleeping partner.
Mandibular Advancement Devices
Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD), resemble the mouthguards that football players wear to protect their teeth. They aren’t really the same though because these oral appliances are custom-made by dentists to keep the tongue and throat from collapsing during sleep.
The Mandibular Advancement Device moves the jaw forward and holds it in place while you sleep. This increases the size of the upper airway so that it doesn’t become partially obstructed and cause snoring.
Mandibular appliances are an effective anti-snoring strategy. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea and prescribed a CPAP, or you’re looking into surgeries, try this non-invasive approach first. Doctors and dentists report better compliance by patients with mandibular devices because they’re silent and easy to use.
Custom-fitted mandibular appliances are most effective for moderate to heavy snorers who haven’t been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, which stops breathing periodically.
Your dentist will work closely with a sleep study center to review the diagnosis and results of your sleep study to choose the best mandibular appliance. It’s common for patients to take a second sleep study with the device in use to make sure it’s working as intended.
Patients report that it works on the first night. If you’re suffering from sleep deprivation caused by snoring, it will be evident fairly quickly when your normal sleeping pattern is restored by a mandibular advancement device.
Some patients report jaw pain similar to TMJ when using the device. Others note that their bite feels off first thing in the morning, but that it gradually resolves in before lunchtime. Occasionally patients discover their teeth have shifted, and they must seek orthodontic care. See your dentist regularly for screenings to minimize this risk.
It’s worth trying this innovative, non-invasive technique to stop snoring before wrestling with a CPAP machine or considering surgery. Our dental office can fit you with a custom mouthpiece that will offer snoring resolution on the first night.
If you are suffering from constant snoring or sleep apnea in Oxford, MA, please call the office at (508) 987-8125 to schedule an appointment today.