Probably not. While it is true that the “snore guards” or “snoring appliances” that are advertised on TV and on-line are based upon a reasonable idea, it is also true that they tend to be poorly constructed, poorly fitting, and poorly tolerated. So very often, buying one of these “seen on TV” devices winds up being a waste of time and money.
What Are These Dental Devices?
Oral appliances can be used to treat snoring and sleep apnea. But like any tool, they work best when they are of high quality, and when they are used properly. While a hammer can be a very helpful tool when building house, it won’t be much help if the task at hand is screwing in a light bulb!
How Do Oral Appliances For Snoring and Sleep Apnea Work?
Oral appliances work by pulling the lower jaw (the mandible) forward. That is why they are also known as mandibular advancement devices. Pulling the jaw forward helps treat snoring and sleep apnea because the tongue is attached to the jaw – so the mechanism of action, or what makes them effective, is their ability to pull the tongue forward. When the tongue is pulled forward, the airway is enlarged, snoring is decreased, and apnea is improved.
What Are The Downsides To Oral Appliances?
Oral appliances only work if you wear them. Some people find it difficult to sleep with an appliance in, so not everyone will actually use one. For people who do wear an appliance regularly, over time the constant forward pull on the jaw can cause jaw-joint pain, shifting of the teeth, and changes to the bite.
How Can The Risks of Oral Appliances Be Minimized?
High quality construction and a good fit are essential. In addition, side effects are less common when the jaw is brought forward less aggressively. That is why the physicians at The Snoring Center typically use oral appliances in conjunction with other treatments. Combining an oral appliance with other treatments (such as palatal stiffening and/or nasal airway improvement), allows the appliance to be used in a more gentle manner.