If your sleep physician has recommended oral appliance therapy as a suitable treatment option, then it is time to consider getting a quality, custom-fitted dental appliance that is right for you.
There are several types of dental appliances specifically designed to treat obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), a sleeping disorder often characterised by its symptoms of snoring and choking during sleep. They are hence sometimes referred to as anti-snoring devices.
The most common solution prescribed by a dentist comes in the form of a Mandibular Advancement Splint/Device (MAS/ MAD). Worn on the teeth like an orthodontic appliance during sleep, the splint is used to prevent the soft tissue from collapsing on the airway and disrupting normal breathing patterns. There is strong scientific evidence that supports the effectiveness of the MAS in treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea and getting rid of snores.
The Mandibular Advancement Splint is a TGA-approved oral device that involves a painless and non-invasive treatment – i.e. no needles or surgery required. Conforming precisely to the unique shape/ size of your mouth and contours of your teeth, it is fabricated based on highly accurate impression moulds as administered by a qualified dentist. The fitting can be just as precise for those who have had previous dental restorative work done (eg. Crowns and bridges).
To understand the benefits of an anti-snoring splint, you must first understand how snoring comes about. Snoring occurs when a person’s airway is partially blocked by the soft tissue and muscles surrounding the windpipe, creating soft palate vibrations commonly known as snoring sounds.
The Mandibular Advancement Splint consists of two splints that are worn over the upper/ lower teeth. The design of the two plates are interconnected in such a way that pushes the lower jaw forward relative to the upper jaw’s position. This helps to open up the wearer’s airway while preventing the surrounding soft tissue from collapsing on it. By repositioning the lower mandible or jaw by about 8 to 10mm, it is generally enough to keep the airway open. To ensure a snug and comfortable fit, the dentist may make further adjustments upon reviewing your individual case.
The benefits of keeping the airway open during sleep not only prevents snoring but also greatly improves the supply of oxygen to all organs, including the heart and brain.
As you breath better, your body is getting the necessary oxygen to all of its major organs, thus allowing you to sleep more soundly throughout the night. With a better sleep, you will find yourself healthier and more energized. It will also greatly improve your lifestyle; imagine saying goodbye to morning-after headaches, middle-of-night toilet visits and grouchy personality throughout the day. Of course, your bed’s other occupant will also sleep better without all the snoring.
Most adults require 6-10 hours of sleep to function properly during the day. OSA sufferers momentarily wake up hundreds of times throughout the night. Think of all the sleep you are missing out on! Our sleep-deprived human bodies will self-compensate during the day, basically resulting in an unhealthy state of being that is less effective in whatever we do – not to mention less pleasant a person to be around.
If you are struggling with OSA, do not hesitate to discuss whatever concerns or issues you may have with your dentist or medical professional. They are in the best position to determine if the appliance or therapy is right for your situation.
To find out more about what anti-snoring devices can do for you, book an appointment with our Friendly Dentist in Molonglo Valley. Contact Molonglo Dental Surgery at 02 6287 1222.