Why Mandibular Advancement Devices Don’t Work for Everyone

Every snore is an individual, which means that his or her snoring problem is going to differ just a little, or a great deal from someone else’s.  It’s very personal, which is probably the reason why snorers don’t publicize the fact that they snore, are embarrassed about it and prefer to deny it, even when told by their loved ones they do. With this degree of individuality in both snorer and their snoring it is not surprising that even the most respected and successful anti-snoring devices work for some, and don’t work for others.

One device doesn’t fit all

If there were one silver bullet, there probably wouldn’t be thousands of patents on the world’s databases for inventions and innovations. Instead there are increasing numbers of new ideas being added to that database as people continue to try to find the piece of the puzzle that leads to quiet nights and peaceful sleep for all. The highly respected Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) which assists snorers by pushing their lower jaw slightly forward to lessen obstruction at the  back of the mouth, is no exception to the principle that one device fits all in the anti-snoring arena.

It’s the most popular, and successful in cases where people are “tongue-base snorers” who snore because of vibrations caused on the base of the tongue. This can happen as a result of sleeping on your back, or if your head lies backwards over a pillow, causing the mouth to open and the jaw to drop backwards. It can also be structural. Should the jawbone be naturally receded or have become that way through years of pushing it out of alignment by sleeping with your hand under the side of your jaw or chin, the base of the tongue will be likely to cause problems.

What is a MAD?

The MAD device resembles the gum shield sportsmen wear to protect their teeth and mouth during games, as well the night guard recommended to patients by dentists when a habit of teeth grinding is wearing down and damaging their teeth.

How MAD works

Snoring arises because of obstruction in the air passages which allow for free flow of breath when we breathe in and out. These obstacles can be caused by congestion in the nasal passages or by a narrowing in the throat caused by muscles relaxing during sleep and a resulting collapse of the soft tissue in the throat.

The Mandibular advancement device functions by pushing the jawbone (or mandibular) forward while you sleep in order to make sure the tongue, the base of which is attached to the jawbone, doesn’t slip back and add to the narrowing of the airways.

When is a MAD not suitable to combat snoring?

  • As MADs have to be anchored firmly on the teeth, those snorers who have dentures would be wise to rather look into another option like tongue stabilizing devices. The same applies to those with uneven teeth.
  • Those snorers with gum disease or dysfunction of the tempro-mandibular joint that joins the jawbone to the skull should discuss the MAD option with their dentist or orthodontist before taking a chance on using one.

When sleep apnea enters the picture

Many (but not all) snorers have the underlying sleep disorder called sleep apnea, which causes people to stop breathing for short spells, sometimes right in the middle of a snoring episode. Unfortunately many snorers are not aware of these interruptions in their breathing patterns any more than they are aware that they snore. It would be wise to undergo a test to determine whether or not they do have this disorder, which has been linked to some serious health issues including strokes, heart disease and an irregular heartbeat. If the results show that they do have sleep apnea, this could affect the choice of anti-snoring device, and might indicate looking for help in terms of CPAP Machines and other devices aimed at treating that disorder.

MAD devices have been shown to be very successful in helping snorers, especially tongue base snorers, and have aided those with mild sleep apnea so much as to be included in some sleep apnea treatment programs, the only way to know if they work for you, is to try one. However, it would be wise to get expert advice before using them is you suffer from severe sleep apnea.

If you want to quit snoring once and for all read our reviews of Top Anti-Snoring Devices - Here.

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