Mouthguards (Mandibular Splint)
Specific mouthguards are a great alternative to CPAP therapy for some obstructive sleep apnea sufferers. Mandibular advancement splints are effective at reducing snoring and treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Who Would Benefit From a Mandibular Advancement Splint?
While CPAP therapy has long been seen as the gold-standard in treating obstructive sleep apnea, not all OSA sufferers can tolerate air pressure therapy. In these instances, a mandibular splint mouthguard may be a better option to improve therapy compliance.
For those suffering from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, it can be beneficial to trial a soft ‘boil and bite’ mandibular advancement splint to see if it will be an effective treatment for them, before being properly fitted by their dentist or sleep apnea specialist.
How Does It Work?
The mandibular advancement splint is worn over your teeth when you sleep. It has metal hinges which slide the lower jaw forward slightly, creating extra space at the back of your throat. The advancement level of the lower jaw can usually be adjusted, and will determine the opening of the respiratory tract. The use of a mandibular splint tightens the soft tissues and muscles of the upper airway, reducing obstruction to the airway while the wearer sleeps.
The mandibular splints we offer are easy to fit at home. Simply heat the device in a warm water bath, which makes the device pliable, and then bite into the soft material to leave teeth impressions - similar to a dental molding, or to fitting a sports mouthguard. Place the device in a cool water bath, and the material will harden again and maintain its new shape.
Benefits of Sleep Apnea Mouthguards
If a mandibular advancement splint is suitable for you and your sleep apnea, there are many benefits:
- Less obtrusive than CPAP therapy, as the mouthpiece is small and lightweight and doesn’t cover your face
- Allows mouth breathing - which is helpful if you have a cold or stuffy sinuses
- Reduces snoring
- Custom-fitted to fit your mouth and jaw, and can be re-fitted as needed
- No noise as associated with CPAP machines
- Perfect for restless sleepers that move around during the night
- Convenient and easy to use while traveling
Is a Sleep Apnea Mouthguard Right for Me?
Mandibular advancement splints aren’t a suitable form of sleep apnea therapy for everyone - it’s worth speaking to your sleep specialist about the option if you want to give it a try.
For those that suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea and wish to trial a special mouthguard, we offer user-friendly mandibular splints that are simple and easy to fit at home. This is a great way of trying a mouthpiece to see if it's the right choice for you before getting professionally fitted by your dentist or sleep specialist, which can be a costly venture. It’s worth noting that individuals with central sleep apnea won’t experience the same benefits of mandibular advancement splint treatment as obstructive sleep apnea sufferers.
Here at NSW CPAP, we’re happy to assist you in any way we can.
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