Mandibular Advancement Devices

Mandibular Advancement Devices (also known as MADs for short) are one of the most popular and widely recognized types of anti-snoring devices.

MADs basically look like a mouthguard that you place in your mouth and use whenever you are sleeping. They really don’t look all that different from the type of mouthguard a football player or boxer would wear… but the truth is that there are actually a lot of differences.

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot just go to the sporting-goods store and buy a mouth guard to help you with your snoring. Mandibular advancement devices are specially designed for this purpose, and function a lot differently from a regular mouthguard.

Some MADs are adjustable, and many can be fitted at home using boil-and-bite technology. There are a few kinds that require a prescription to purchase and use… and a few that you need to go to the dentist to get fitted for if you want to use them.

How Are MADs Meant To Work?

MADs are meant to work by keeping the lower jaw slightly pulled forward during sleep. They accomplish this through their construction… or through a mechanism that keeps the lower part of the mouth guard advanced forward more than the top part.

How MADs work

Most snoring is caused by soft palate vibration in the airway. When you lay down and sleep, your muscles relax… and the soft tissues of your airway can collapse in and restrict the airflow. When this happens, the air that does go through results in vibration in the soft tissue… and this is what causes snoring.

But by keeping the lower jaw pulled forward, you can actually prevent this in a lot of cases… because this tightens the tissue and opens up the airway to allow for better breathing and less restriction.

Some MADs are adjustable, which allows you to customize the amount of advancement on the lower mouth piece. These tend to be a bit more expensive than regular types… but the concept is still the same.

Do We Believe That This Type Of Product Works?

Mandibular Advancement Devices are actually one of the best-documented types of anti-snoring devices, and have a fairly proven track record for treating not only snoring… but sometimes sleep apnea (depending on the specific device in question).

Obviously, different devices will give you different chances for success, as some are simply better than others. Some have also been clinically tested, while others have not. You actually have to be a little bit careful, in fact, when you buy devices like this… as some companies will make big claims about their product based on clinical trials performed on other products.

But… as a general rule, we do like these types of devices. They do have their downsides, but they do a pretty practical job of treating the root causes of snoring, and are one of the better types of devices on the market.

The Positives

Here is a list of the positives as they pertain to MADs…

  • They are relatively inexpensive
  • They do a pretty good job of treating the root causes of snoring
  • They have very few side effects
  • There have been quite a few clinical trials performed on these types of products

The Negatives

Here is a list of some of the downsides…

  • They are a little bit invasive since you have to have them in your mouth all night in order for them to work
  • If they break, you will have to buy another to replace it
  • It can take quite a bit of time to get used to them
  • Some people cannot use them (your teeth have to be in good condition, and there are a few other different conditions)

Who Should Use This Product, And When?

If you are 18 years of age or over, have healthy teeth, and don’t mind keeping a mouthguard in your mouth as you sleep, then a Mandibular Advancement Device may be for you.

As for when you should use it, you will need to use it all night, every night, in order for it to be effective. This is not a treatment that works when the mouthpiece is absent. So if you lose it or break it, you will need to replace it to continue to experience the benefits of its use.

Who Should Avoid Using This Type Of Product?

If you have problems with your teeth, these devices are probably not for you. You should also avoid using these types of devices if you suffer from sleep apnea, unless you can find one that is cleared for use to treat sleep apnea.

These devices are also not intended for individuals under the age of 18.

Final Thoughts

If you are a snorer and want to try a device that is inexpensive, but proven to do a pretty good job, then an MAD might be perfect for you.

They do come with a few side effects. And as snoring remedies go, they are one of the more invasive types. Not everyone can get used to sleeping with an entire mouthguard in their mouth over the course of the night.

But… if you can overcome these obstacles, this is certainly one of our favorite types of anti-snoring products. Learn more about one particular MAD here.


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