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Mandibular Advancement – Pros And Cons

Sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that affects about five percent of adults. Sleep apnea is a condition in which the airway in your throat collapses when you sleep, so the muscles relax. If this collapse is constant, it causes apnea or simply said absence of breath. If the collapse is not constant, usually causes snoring.

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The long term consequences of having obstructive sleep apnea are high blood pressure, sleepiness, headaches and risk of heart attack or stroke. Fortunately, there are many treatments who can help you control your sleep apnea. The most popular and most effective is CPAP – Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Unfortunately there are lots of people who cannot tolerate the CPAP therapy and decide to use other treatments like surgery to the airway or the use of an oral appliance.

An example for such oral appliance is the mandibular advancement splint (MAS). There are many types, but not all are equally effective. Mandibular advancement devices (MAD) have mouth gurad that is fitted to both top and bottom teeth and joined together in a way that bottom teeth are in front of the top teeth.

Pushing the bottom jaw forward opens up and supports the airway, so there is less chance to collapse. On that way the mandibular advancement device can help you reduce the number of the severe sleep apnea events. So, if suffering from sleep apnea think carefully before deciding which device is the best for you. For more clear “picture” take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using mandibular advancement splint.

Advantages Of Using Mandibular Advancement Splint

  • If your have mild or moderate sleep apnea with 20 – 30 events per hour, an oral appliance like mandibular advancement splint is a good substitute for CPAP;

  • If your bottom jaw that recedes a little that causes sleep apnea, the use of mandibular advancement splint is ideal;

  • If your sleep apnea is better when you lie on your side than on your back, it is advisable to use mandibular advancement device.

Disadvantages Of Using Mandibular Advancement Devices

  • If you have stiff jaw joint, probably you will not be able to achieve effective results;

  • If you have severe sleep apnea that the use of mandibular advancement splint won’t help. You better opt to CPAP therapy;

  • If you have poor dental structure or no teeth, it may be impossible to use mandibular advancement splint. It is best to start using customized CPAP machine;

  • If you are very overweight you could not benefit from mandibular advancement device.

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