Oral Appliance Therapy for Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Mandibular Advancement Splints

Research recently presented by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) in Minneapolis, Minnesota showed that the use of oral appliances such as mandibular advancement splints (MAS) is effective in relieving snoring problems and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This form of treatment is unobtrusive and less expensive than the use of CPAP machines or surgical measures in the treatment of snoring and sleep disordered breathing.

About the Study

Several different methods were used in the collection of data, including subjective reports from the patients and their partners, the use different monitoring devices, and the apnea hypopnea index (AHI), which is the average number of times the patient pauses in their breathing each hour during sleep. One of the monitoring devices used in the study was the Sonomat, which is an unobtrusive mattress overlay that contains sensors that monitor snoring, breathing, and body movements during sleep. In the use of these methods, researchers were able to compare physical evidence to the reports given to reach their conclusions.

Mandibular Advancement Splints

Effective in relieving snoring problems and obstructive sleep apnea.

The data was collected from 42 men and women over two consecutive nights. The first night they slept without the use of a MAS device and asked how they slept, whether they felt rested, or if a partner’s snoring kept them awake. The second night, the snorers were fitted with the MAS device which was advanced to 70 percent of maximum jaw protrusion to keep airways open.

What They Found

Not surprisingly, the researchers found that the average AHI went from 10.3 events down to 3.8 events per hour for the snorers. There was also a decrease in overall snoring, from 38 percent without the MAS down to 15 percent when the device was used. It should be noted that some of the subjects, about 29 percent, still snored with the use of device, but still showed a decrease in AHI events.

Snoring cures are not “one size fits all,” but the researchers concluded that the use of the MAS devices were effective in reducing the severity of OSA as well as relieving sleep-disordered breathing in most of the individuals that participated in the study. Although they were pleased with their findings, they caution that more research is needed for definitive proof of the use of MAS devices as a snoring cure.

For more information on using oral devices to cure snoring, please see “Snoring Devices – How They Can Help You Stop Snoring”. In addition, please leave your comments, advice and questions here in order to help others as well as yourself in getting a peaceful night’s sleep.