SomnoDent MAS: Oral Appliance for Snoring and Sleep Apnea

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Snoring has long been considered a hazard of marriage for women and men. But the effect of snoring on a person's sleep can be debilitating. On average, cosleepers of snorers lose an hour or more per night as a result of their partner's snoring. This is in addition to the loss of rest to snorers themselves who can wake and disturb their own sleep.

Finally, about 30 % of all snorers suffer from what is known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a condition in which a person stops breathing because the airway collapses during sleep. As a result of the cessations in breathing, a person experiences periods of dramatically lowered blood oxygen levels, which is measured by an apnea/hypoxia index (AHI). The dangers of sleep apnea include heart attack, arrhythmia, and high blood pressure. Studies have found that OSA sufferers have a death rate that is 2-5 times higher than the general population.

Cause of Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Unlike the chest, which is surrounded by the ribs, or limbs, which have a core of bone, the throat is supported by the spine at one side, and has the hyoid bone at the other but is mostly a hollow tube of soft tissue. In fact, the hyoid bone is the only bone in the human body that is not attached to any other bone. The soft tissue is responsible for keeping itself open, and depends on the activity of muscles to accomplish this task.

When we sleep, the muscles relax, and the soft tissue tube can constrict, making a narrower airway that leads to turbulent, noisy airflow, in which case snoring results. In more extreme cases, the soft tissue collapses, cutting off the flow of air altogether, creating what is known as an apneic event (apnea comes from the Greek words for no-breath). The only solution to this is for your body to waken briefly, opening the airway with the muscles. In true OSA sufferers, this happens five or more times an hour.

Obesity is a strong risk factor for sleep apnea, since obese persons have more soft tissue to support during sleep. For a similar reason, men are more likely to suffer OSA than women.

How Oral Appliances Correct Sleep Apnea

All the soft tissue of the throat is connected, and it's all connected to the jaw. As the only major articulated bone in the area, the position of the jaw can have a dramatic impact on the positioning of the soft tissue during sleep. For this reason, snoring and sleep apnea can be caused by an improper position of the jaw and can be corrected with a proper position of the jaw. In oral appliance therapy, a device is worn in the mouth to reposition the jaw, and, in so doing, reposition the soft tissues of the throat, making them less prone to collapse.

Effectiveness of SomnoDent MAS

Somnomed is the manufacturer of the SomnoDent MAS, an oral appliance, also known as a mandibular advancement splint (MAS) because it pushes out (advances) the jaw (mandible). It is worn over the teeth when a person goes to sleep at night.

Objective studies showed that 63 % of patients either experienced a complete cessation of clinical OSA or experienced a greater than 50 % decrease in the severity of their apnea, measured by AHI. More than 71 % of patients had their apneic events reduced to less than 10 per hour. SomnoDent users also experienced an increase in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and in blood oxygen levels during sleep.

In terms of treating snoring, SomnoDent reduced the number of snores per hour by 43 %. It also increased the average snoring volume and maximum snoring volume by 3 decibels.

In subject terms, 83 % of patients reported significant improvement in snoring, sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness, and greater than 95 % of patients reported they wanted to continue using SomnoDent because of its benefits.

How to Get SomnoDent

You may have seen commercials on TV for mail-order oral appliances, or you might have seen them in stores. These premanufactured plastic oral appliances have been shown in clinical studies to have no benefit. The only way to get true relief with an oral appliance is to consult a sleep doctor or sleep dentist and be fitted with a therapeutic oral appliance like SomnoDent. A sleep doctor can also diagnose the severity of your sleep apnea.

If you would like to learn more about SomnoDent MAS and how it might be able to treat your snoring and sleep apnea, contact Dr. Ira L. Shapira at the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center in Gurney, Illinois today for a free consultation.

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You should always first seek professional medical consulatation from a doctor for diagonosis and treatment for any medical condition.

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