Anti Snoring Appliances
What are oral appliances?
Oral appliances are one of the options that you can use to treat mild or moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, as well as Snoring. They are also called Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) or Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) or Mandibular Repositioning Appliances (MRA). They look a bit like a mouth guard. At night, before you go to bed, you put it in your mouth. There is no need to wear it during the day.
How do they work?
They push your lower jaw forwards. Your airway will open up more and there will be less of a risk that it will vibrate (snore) or obstruct.
How well do they work?
As with all treatments, some people respond better than others. The oral appliance will work best if you have mild to moderate sleep apnoea, if your sleep apnoea is a lot better when you lie on your side than when you lie on your back and if you are not overweight. If you have central sleep apnoea (less common than obstructive sleep apnoea), then oral appliances will probably not help. But until you have tried it, no one can say for sure how well it will work for you.
How well do they work compared to CPAP?
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) will stop sleep apnoea straight away in almost all people who use it. An oral appliance will usually improve your sleep apnoea, but it may not completely stop it. So if you have moderate or severe sleep apnoea, CPAP may be a better option.
Does it have any side effects?
If fitted correctly, it should be comfortable most of the time. Because it pushes your jaw forward, some people feel discomfort initially, but this tends to get better with prolonged use. Mostly, any discomfort is in the joint at the back of your jaw, just in front of the ear. This should soon go away when you take the appliance out in the morning. Other people find that it causes saliva to build up in the mouth, or makes the teeth feel tender. Again, these symptoms settle quickly with continuing use. Over the long term, there may be tooth movement, changes in your bite or problems with the joint and muscles of the jaw. It is important to have a regular check up with the dentist who supplied the appliance to detect these problems early so they can be dealt with.