mandibular advancement device. A large percentage of American adults snore, as estimated by the American Sleep Apnea Association. Snoring is a problem because it disrupts sleep and lowers the quality of sleep for the person who suffers from it.
Roughly 22 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. When a person unwinds, their throat naturally opens up. When the throat muscles relax, the airway becomes constricted, leading to the characteristic snoring noises associated with sleep.
In sleep apnea, the walls of the throat completely close off, making it impossible to breathe.
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects a lot of people who don’t even realize they have it. Aside from the obvious, snoring, common symptoms include: daytime fatigue, nighttime awakenings, difficulty concentrating and remembering, breathing interruptions while asleep (which a bed partner will likely notice), and morning headaches.
People who suspect they have sleep apnea should seriously consider getting tested with a sleep study. A sleep doctor will provide recommendations for treatment after making a diagnosis.
Changes in one’s lifestyle, such as a change in sleeping positions, weight loss, and allergy medications, can help treat sleep apnea.
MADs and other CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) appliance oral devices
A minimally invasive procedure is a form of treatment that people can try. Sleep apnea and snoring can be avoided by protruding the jaw and tongue for a short period of time. If you move your tongue forward, you’ll free up more room in your airway.
Some MADs are made to order or can be adjusted to a certain degree to fit the user’s mouth. Some MADs, often referred to as “boil-and-bite” MADs, are sold without a prescription (OTC). They’re made with pliable materials that get softer in hot water. The device is customized to your mouth by biting down on the mold.