Oronasal Devices

Mandibular Advancement Device

The mandibular (also referred to as the mandible) is a jawbone and the mandibular advancement device aims to advance or move it forward. It is the most widely used device for sleep apnea and looks much like a mouth guard used in sports.

How Does It Work?

An anti-snoring device like the mandibular advancement device helps to diminish any restriction that occurs in the back of the throat by moving the jaw and tongue forward. By advancing them, the jaw and tongue move away from the back of the throat. This increases the size of the upper airway, thus reducing the air resistance that leads to snoring.
Typically, MADs fit within the mouth and are molded to your teeth to provide a platform. This platform allows the upper jaw to act as a fixed frame, while the lower jaw is pushed forward. The best MADs provide a mechanism that advances the jaw incrementally until the ideal balance between the back of the tongue and the soft tissue of the throat is reached. Once this happens, snoring stops.

Sources: ASA American Sleep Association

Tongue Stabilizing Devices

A Tongue Stabilizing Device is a piece of flexible plastic or silicone resin, usually BPA free and similar to what is used in sports mouth guards or baby pacifiers, shaped to fit comfortably in the mouth.

How Does It Work?

A TSD helps open up the blocked airway by gently pulling the tongue forward and away from the back of the throat. A TSD attaches to the tongue through gentle suction and then slightly braces on the lips or teeth to keep the tongue slightly forward, thus preventing the restriction to the airway which causes the bulk of the snoring noise and discomfort.

Each TSD is slightly different but is based on a similar implementation; pinch the end chamber, place your tongue in the hole and the vacuum created pulls your tongue forward.

Unlike Mandibular Advancement Devices or MAD’s, TSD’s do not pull the entire jaw forward and this TSD’s are better suited to people who are less comfortable with the potential pressure on their teeth that MAD’s can exert, and better for people who wear dentures.

Sources: ASA American Sleep Association

Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP) Device

An EPAP device is considered an emerging therapy for sleep apnea, available as an alternative for people who cannot or do not want to use the standard CPAP therapy. An EPAP is a valve that attaches to the nostrils before sleep. This valve uses only the sleeper’s breath to create pressure as they exhale. This pressure prompts physical changes that make it more likely the airway will remain open during inhalation, reducing the periods of lapsed breathing that characterize sleep apnea. Unlike a CPAP device, an EPAP does not add pressure on inhalation.

EPAP devices significantly reduced the number of times people with OSA stopped breathing during sleep, as well as decreased feelings of daytime sleepiness People using EPAP had fewer breathing cessations, reduced snoring, and less daytime sleepiness.

Sources: Sleep Foundation

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