Mandibular Advancement Devices – What are they?
Mandibular Advancement Devices (or MADs) are basically mouthpieces that help to prevent snoring. There are actually several different types, which all help to accomplish this task using slightly different approaches.
- Boil and Bite MADs
Boil and Bite devices are made from a material that gets soft when you boil it. Once it cools enough to put it in your mouth, you can bite down on it to make a custom tooth and gum impression. This custom-sizes and fits the device perfectly, which will increase its effectiveness and make it more likely to help you without causing discomfort.
- Adjustable MADs
Adjustable devices are usually equipped with some sort of mechanism for adjusting the extremity of the jaw advancement. They might click, slide, or ‘notch’ their way forward or backward to help you customize jaw advancement while you’re using the device.
- Hybrid MADs
‘Hybrid’ is a term that seems to be used pretty loosely when it comes to mandibular advancement devices. It basically means that the device uses more than one different feature to make it effective, or that it’s just ‘not as simple’ as the most straightforward types of devices.
Some people even say that boil and bite mouthpieces are ‘hybrid’ MADs… so it really depends on who you’re talking to.
- Hinged Design MADs
Hinged MADs are built with a hinged-design that allows the mouth to open and close as normal. They’re sometimes preferred by people who don’t like not being able to move their mouth more naturally while using the device.
How do they work?
Mandibular Advancement Devices basically work by keeping the lower jaw pulled forward during sleep. This helps to prevent snoring by reducing soft palate constriction, and by opening up the upper airway. MADs tend to be effective because they shift the entire jaw forward, which provides a pretty significant reduction in constriction when compared to other stop-snoring methods.
They can be a bit bulky, but a lot of people end up using them when other stop snoring methods simply don’t work – mostly due to how effective they tend to be.
What are the benefits?
Most MADs are very effective because they provide such a significant jaw adjustment. This means that they can tend to help snoring problems that are too severe for other methods.
They are also pretty economical, and can be an excellent alternative to surgical procedures. There are quite a few different types to choose from, which gives you several options as you seek to find the model that works the best for you.
And the fact that you can use boil-and-bite technology on most of them to get a custom fit is a huge bonus – because it makes it possible to get a device that fits like it was made for you without spending a ton of money.
What are the downsides?
The biggest downside to MADs is probably the fact that some people think of them as ‘large and clunky’. This might keep some people from liking the idea of keeping one in their mouth over the course of the night. Another downside is that some models can have a tendency to make your teeth a little bit sore.
Should you use a mandibular advancement device?
If you’re a snorer and need to find a way to help yourself without getting an expensive surgery, then you should definitely look into buying a mandibular advancement device.
You might also stand to benefit the most from these types of products if you’ve tried other snoring solutions in the past that haven’t ended up working for you. Usually, you can count on an MAD working to help reduce or eliminate snoring – even if no other types of products have worked for you in the past.
When shouldn’t you use an MAD?
You might end up not liking these devices if the idea of having a mouthpiece in your mouth at night sounds like it would be too much for you. In addition, some of them can’t be used with dentures – so if you wear dentures, you may either need to find a special mouthpiece that’ll work, or try a different solution.
Attention! MADs are a very popular stop-snoring product, and for good reason! They do an awesome job of eliminating constriction in the throat, and are very good about opening up the airway – which usually helps to reduce snoring.
If you want something that will most likely work, that’s been proven to be effective, and that doesn’t cost a fortune, you will probably end up being a fan of the mandibular advancement device.