The Dangers Of Using A Mouth Guard For Snoring
Mandibular advancement devices have become very popular in the last few years, and for good reason. A lot of people who suffer from a chronic snoring problem have realized that these devices (MADs) can do a lot of good to help you overcome it.
Mandibular advancement devices operate pretty simply. Snoring generally occurs in the soft palate, which is located in the back of the throat. It happens when the airway collapses in on itself. This leads to a vibration of the soft tissue. This causes a noise that we have come to call ‘snoring.’
It’s a pretty common problem, actually – and mandibular advancement devices can actually do a lot to help make it better.
MADs basically pull your lower jaw forward just slightly – enough to make extra room in the back of the throat. With this extra room created in the airway, the soft tissue of the soft palate is much less likely to collapse in on itself. This keeps vibrations from occurring and, in turn, stops snoring from happening.
But are there any dangers involved in using an MAD?
As it turns out, there are a few. And in this article, we are going to discuss them.
Disclaimer: Not All MADs Are Dangerous For Everyone
Before we talk about this issue, it is important to understand that we are not trying to say that all MAD devices are dangerous, or that you will suffer from problems if you use one. Just because these problems could happen doesn’t mean that they will. So make sure to take this into account as we discuss the potential risks and dangers associated with their use.
What Are The Dangers Of Using A Mouth Guard For Snoring?
One of the most common dangers of using a mouth guard (or an MAD) is that it can cause pain in the teeth or gums. This can happen for a number of different reasons. One of the most common is the ‘rubbing’ or ‘scratching’ that occurs when the device doesn’t fit quite right, and causes pain in the gums. This can happen when it hasn’t been fitted correctly, of if its shape just doesn’t quite match the shape of the individual’s mouth.
Pressure on the teeth can also be a problem, which can lead to aching or pain. Having the device fitted by a professional can sometimes help to minimize the risk of this happening. Some people also ‘file down’ the little parts of the device that tend to rub on the gums or jaw, to give it a more custom fit.
Sometimes, in more rare cases, an MAD can also change a person’s bite… or how their jaw and teeth line up. I have heard stories before of MADs pulling on the teeth enough, over years of use, that the pressure eventually caused them to stick out a bit as well – though these stories tend to be rare, and it is difficult to say what the odds are of experiencing this.
Mandibular advancement devices can also cause sleep bruxism in some cases, as well as a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ. This condition is caused when the lower jaw is forced forward, and results in shifting and pain in the jaw. The pain is generally felt in the jaw joint, but it can also show up in the teeth, and is sometimes even felt in the ears.
Many mandibular advancement devices require a prescription for purchase – but there are some that do not, depending on exactly where you live and on how they are classified.
MADs are generally considered to be safe and effective – but it is important to understand that there are reasons for why some countries require a prescription for them. As stated above, they can cause some side effects. The side effects may be rare – but they are possible.
If you have doubts about whether or not you should use this type of treatment for your snoring problem, then you might want to consult your doctor, just to see if they have any advice for your personal case.