A Mandibular Advancement Device MAD is an appliance made from durable, plastic-like material used to reduce the effects of mild forms of obstructive sleep apnea. Mandibular Advancement expands a person’s airway by moving their jaw forward while they sleep. The forward position reduces the number of times your breathing stops due to sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea a condition where a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts while they are sleeping. While there are other types, obstructive sleep apnea is a kind of sleep apnea, which occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat are too relaxed. When the muscles relax, the person’s airway becomes obstructed or collapses, and they stop breathing. The breathing pauses can last for anywhere between a few seconds to several minutes. According to the American Sleep Association, about 25 million people in the U.S. have sleep apnea.
Effects of Sleep Apnea
The pauses in breathing created by sleep apnea cause a person to shift from the realm of deep sleep to a lighter sleep phase. People with sleep apnea often feel tired during the daytime because they don’t sleep well at night. They tend to snore while they sleep and often wake up complaining of a headache or dry mouth.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Until the M.A. device became available, the CPAP machine was the standard treatment method for sleep apnea. Recent studies have shown that the M.A. device is not more effective than the CPAP, but many people prefer the MAD. A MA device also helps to keep patients from grinding their teeth and snoring.
Although some studies show that an M.A. device can effectively treat sleep apnea, there are some disadvantages to using it. One of the largest disadvantages of using an M.A. device is that you could develop pain in the temporomandibular joint caused by arthritis or experience TMJ disorder.
How Can You Obtain a MAD?
You may be able to purchase an M.A. device online or at a local drugstore. However, those devices are not custom fitted for the customer. To ensure the best fit to get the optimum results, your dentist should make the device and custom fit it to your mouth. Your dentist will create a mold of your teeth and make the M.A. device based on that mold.
Your dentist may also recommend you use a mouthwash to help reduce the effects of dry mouth. A mouth wash that can help replace the natural calcium and repair weakened enamel is the Daily Repair mouthwash by Colgate.
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, continuously wake up feeling tired, grind your teeth, or snore, you may be able to get relief with an M.A. device. Consider contacting your dentist to have an M.A. device custom fitted for your mouth. A properly fitted Mandibular Advancement Device MAD can reduce pain and help prevent problems with the jaw joint. Finally, you will sleep better and feel more rested when you wake up.