Why do people use snore appliances?
Snoring is caused when the muscles of the upper airway effectively collapse during sleep.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a condition where the airway collapses to the extent that air supply to the lungs is interrupted, and you stop breathing temporarily until your brain wakes you in order to take a breath. OSA is a condition that affects many people, and can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, increased blood pressure or stroke.
At Southside Dental Options, we can custom design and fit snore appliances (more formally known as mandibular advancement splints) that can treat both snoring and OSA.
How is a snore appliance fitted?
Snore appliances (sometimes called oral appliances) can help to reduce snoring and sleep apnoea for many people (although for some, other forms of treatment may be necessary). The first step in having one fitted is to create a mould of both your upper and lower teeth, from which your snore appliance is then custom designed.
In appearance and fit, a mandibular advancement splint resembles a mouthguard or an orthodontic retainer. It is worn while you sleep and is designed to reposition the lower jaw so that it is positioned forward of the upper jaw. This also allows the tongue to move forward, and this combination of features produces an unobstructed airway so that snoring and OSA is reduced or stopped.
What are the benefits of a snore appliance?
Sleep apnoea can be a serious medical condition that impacts on your overall health and quality of life. Not only does it affect your sleep, but it can also lead to a range of other complications, not least high blood pressure or a stroke. Addressing your OSA with a snore appliance can therefore lead to an overall improvement in your health and quality of life — as well as improving your sleep, and that of your partner as well!
Is a snore appliance right for me?
A snore appliance can help if you snore regularly or have OSA.
However, it does need to be noted that a MAS will not be right for everyone, and in some instances the use of a CPAP device (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) may be necessary to address more severe cases. Some of the signs and symptoms that you might be suffering from sleep apnoea include:
- Waking up in the night choking or gasping for air
- Regularly feeling tired when you wake up
- Experiencing a sore, dry throat when you wake up
- Continuing to feel tired throughout the day
Commonly asked questions about snoring appliances.
I snore a lot — do I need a sleep study?
As OSA can be a medical disorder with potential serious health impacts, if you are a heavy or chronic snorer, it is recommended that you have a diagnostic sleep study to determine whether you have the condition.
Is a snore appliance comfortable to wear?
Your snore appliance will be customised and designed to fit your teeth and mouth comfortably. However, it can take a little time to get used to, and for the first few weeks you might feel some discomfort in the teeth and gums, a sore jaw, or an excessively dry mouth.
When do I need to review my snore appliance?
We recommend having a review 4 to 6 weeks after you start wearing your oral appliance at our southern Adelaide surgery, followed by an annual check up to evaluate how your teeth and jaw are responding, as well any wear and tear to your MAS.
Is a snore appliance the only option?
There are other treatment options that are available for chronic snoring or sleep apnoea. These can include lifestyle modifications, CPAP therapy or, in some cases, surgery.