Can Wearing a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) Help You Overcome Your Nightly Sleep Apnea?

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Do you find yourself snoring loudly, according to the people in your home? Chronic snoring affects your sleep quality along with your partner and your family members. If so, you might be one of many who experience this sleep issue that potentially harms your energy levels, health, lifestyle, and work productivity.

According to the American Sleep Association, around 70 million adults in the U.S. alone have one kind of sleep disorder or another. Of those numbers, about 25 million of them consist of people plagued with sleep apnea, where they pause their breathing for short periods of time in their sleep. It leaves them experiencing partial obstruction of the airway by the tongue or soft tissues in the throat.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep apnea arises when your airway becomes blocked or collapses, halting your normal breathing, which can take anywhere from several seconds to a few minutes. Depriving your brain of oxygen can also leave you exhausted as your sleep shifts from a deep sleep to one that is lighter. You can also wake up the next morning after snoring all night with a headache and dry mouth.

CPAP or MAD?

While the typical treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP), there are some people who can’t handle that very well, so they turn to a mandibular advancement device (MAD) to get the sleep they need. MADs are great for people with mild sleep apnea to get the good night’s sleep they deserve.

If you are wondering how a Mandibular Advancement Device can help alleviate your sleep apnea, the answer is, you might be surprised how often it can help. The MAD lessens sleep apnea and its effects by effectively pushing your jaw (mandible) and tongue forward and away from the back of the throat while you sleep. This simple action expands your airway, so you have fewer incidences of pausing your breathing.

Studies on MADs for sleep apnea show that while people with CPAPS often avoid using it, they are more likely to use a Mandibular Advancement Device. And here’s another great thing about MADs: people struggling with sleep apnea often tend to grind their teeth at night. And while a CPAP can’t help you overcome a bruxism habit, the MAD absolutely can, just as a mouthguard protects your teeth during sports!

A MAD device fits into your mouth while being molded onto your teeth to keep your upper jaw normally positioned while your lower jaw is pushed forward. It works as the jaw is incrementally moved forward until the back of the tongue and the soft tissue of the throat is balanced, making your snoring stop.

There are three kinds of MADs:

    • 1. The first is a boil and bite MAD, which you buy online or from your local pharmacy. Placing it in hot water will soften the material (silicone or resin), so when you put it on and bite down, it should fit.

2. Semi-custom MADs are molded after you take a custom mold of your teeth and send it off to be better fitted.

3. Custom dental MADs are crafted by our sleep specialists. It helps you get a perfect fit, one refined for your unique smile.

If you want the most effective device available to help you overcome the harmful effects of sleep apnea, we recommend getting a custom dental MAD if you can, as it can help reduce the risk of jaw joint problems or jaw pain.

If you would like to know more about how a mandibular advancement device might be a good fit for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We are happy to address your questions and concerns and would love to schedule a visit with our sleep apnea specialist! You and your loved ones deserve a healthy night’s sleep!