Sleeping Disorders can be very tedious and affect the most valuable time of our nights. It is recommended to sleep around 6-8 hours a day to feel refreshed and renewed; however, those who struggle with sleeping disorders such as Sleep Apnea find it more difficult to gain the same experience. These disorders cause the blockage of airways during sleep which may cause a temporary loss in breathing and can lead to extreme snoring and disruption in sleeping patterns during the night along with drowsiness, dry mouth, and headaches throughout the day.
The problem is that there is no set cure for these occurrences since there are no set diagnostics. While there is no permanent solution for Sleep Apnea, study treatments such as the Mandibular Advancement have been created to relieve patients from their discomfort.
Mandibular advancement is a device treatment designed for a patient's oral cavity. The Mandibular Device helps reduce the blockage of the airways by moving the tongue and jaw forward. Doing so relieves pressure on the airways, enabling constant airflow during a patient's sleep and moderates the symptoms caused by Sleep Apnea. Contrary to popular belief, the device isn't some painful, heavy-duty contrivance. The device itself appears and feels more like a sports mouthguard.
You can find mandibular advancement devices just about in any pharmacy or drugstore. Over-the-counter devices require you to boil them in water and mold them to fit your mouth. The cost of these over-the-counter guards begins from $39 and up, making it an accessible price for everyone. Mandibular Devices can also be custom-made at a Dentist or Orthodontist's Office, costing up to $2000 depending on specifications. While it is more expensive, the personalized fit may increase the chances of relief and have better results. Insurance companies may also cover mandibular Devices.
While Mandibular Devices have been known to help relieve symptoms caused by Sleep Apnea, they are not a permanent solution. The devices typically last up to 3 years for over-the-counter devices and 6 years for personalized devices. Depending on the device's status, it is recommended to renew the device every few years to get the full benefits of the device.
Just like any treatment, some side effects may occur. Since the mandibular device shifts the tongue and jaw to increase airflow, it may cause some pain and discomfort in the jaw. Symptoms may include stiff jaw, toothache, hyper salvation, and mouth dryness. While these symptoms are highly uncommon if experienced, the best measure is to consult a doctor to find a solution.
Sleep apnea is commonly seen in adults, but children and elders are also affected by it. Mandibular devices are fitted to the mouth of a patient. However, mandibular devices do not pair well with people that have dentures. Mandibular devices can fit children, but other treatment options may work best since mandibular devices have to be cleaned daily and come off. Thus increasing the chances of being misplaced or generating the growth of bacteria if not properly cleaned, but it all depends on the child's responsibility.
Considering the treatment is just an increased chance to help relieve the obnoxious effects that Sleep Apnea causes. While it may or may not be a treatment ensured to benefit a patient specifically, it is better than doing nothing at all. Before making the executive decision on which measures to take, it is strongly advised to consult with a doctor and discuss which options are more appealing and beneficial to a patient's distress. There is a chance that a Mandibular Device may be the solution that works best for them. If not, we can introduce them to other courses of treatment to reduce discomfort and achieve the great night's rest they have been longing for.