What Are Mandibular Advancement Devices?
In the vast realm of anti-snoring products, one specific device stands out above all others: the mandibular advancement device. Snoring is an intricate process that requires several different factors to go wrong in order to become problematic enough for you to notice. Your mandibular advancement device, which we will get into more detail at a later point, targets some of the most common issues during this process.
Traditionally, a mandibular advancement device is a product that you wear in your mouth at night when you sleep. Overnight, the mandibular advancement device works to keep your jaw jutted forward in a certain position in order to limit the impact of the different factors that go into the creation of snoring. By doing this, your device will effectively put snoring into the past for you.
We’re going to discuss mandibular advancement devices in depth as we go through this guide, but we should start by saying that they are typically only the first step in treating your snoring. Mandibular advancement devices are considered to be one of the most effective anti-snoring tools around, but they can be improved by adding other products to your repertoire. We’ll talk a little bit more about those at a later point, as well. For now, let’s continue so that we can talk about how mandibular advancement devices actually work.
How Mandibular Advancement Devices Work
According to most professionals, mandibular advancement devices work by directly treating your jawbone in a physical manner in order to address the process of snoring. Mandible, which is the root word of mandibular, refers to your jaw while advancement is a term that means ‘to move forward.’ Your mandibular advancement device thus, obviously, means moving your jaw forward.
In order to really appreciate how mandibular devices work, we should probably have at least a cursory knowledge of the way that snoring works. By understanding snoring, we can come to a more rounded understanding of mandibular advancement devices and how they are working to improve your snoring problems. Let’s take a brief recess from the mandibular advancement device in order to discuss snoring.
There are many reasons that people snore. The first thing that you need to understand is that snoring is a widespread problem that afflicts countless people around the world. Snoring is not something unique and it certainly isn’t even always something that is problematic. Snoring can be indicative of several underlying chronic issues, such as sleep apnea, but that isn’t always the case. Traditionally, the best way to understand the severity and circumstance of your snoring is to look at where it is originating.
Snoring is associated with the sound of vibrations rising up and through your throat. Why do these vibrations occur? Well, when you go to sleep at night, you end up falling into full relaxation. When your body is relaxed, your muscles are no longer tensed up. When that tension leaves your body, you’ll find that your tongue can collapse toward the back of your throat. Your tongue can create a partial obstruction that results in the snoring sound that you are already no doubt familiar with.
Additionally, some individuals find that their snoring is caused by problems with their nose or with their larynx. Within your throat, snoring can be caused by air having difficulty passing through the closed tissues of your throat. Mandibular advancement devices work to help clear up your airway in order to make breathing all the more easier, thus improving the quality of your rest while reducing the physical problems that lead to snoring.
While snoring can afflict just about anyone, there are some triggers that seem to lead to snoring that you probably want to be aware of. Typically, the most common triggers associated with snoring have to do with how you physically treat your body: poor dieting, alcohol or caffeine use before bed, and even weight gain can all contribute to your struggles with snoring.
Snoring can adversely impact your life. It is really a problem in a big way for many people. It isn’t just a nuisance for other people trying to sleep in the same room as you. Snoring is a deep-rooted problem that can cause physical and mental harm to you. Typically, snoring can lead to the following issues: depression, anxiety, mood swings, and chronic fatigue.
Moreover, if you suffer from any of the aforementioned symptoms, you might also be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that adversely affects a large portion of the population. Sleep apnea is much more severe than just generalized snoring and a treatment plan will likely be much more extensive as a result.
Now that you know more about the process of snoring and how mandibular advancement devices work, we can move on. Next, we are going to discuss how you can customize your mandibular advancement device in order to correctly fit your mouth. As you’ll see continually throughout this guide, having a proper fitting mandibular advancement device is absolutely integral to seeing the difference that you desire in your snoring.
Fitting Your Mandibular Advancement Device
When the time comes to use your mandibular advancement device, you are going to have to go through what is called a custom fitting process. Typically, this process entails taking your mandibular advancement device through a boil and bite routine in order to customize the product to your mouth. Once the mouthpiece has been customized to your mouth, you’ll be able to wear it on a nightly basis. While all mandibular advancement devices have their own routine quirks in the boil and bite phase, the broad strokes of the operation are the same.
Here’s what you’ll need to customize your device:
- Pot of boiling water
- Pair of tongs
- Cup of ice
- Cup of cool water
Once you’ve collected the items we mentioned above, move on to the step-by-step guide below. Fill in any timeframes with the instructions pulled directly from the packaging of your mandibular advancement device, as they all are slightly different.
- Start by washing your mandibular advancement device with warm water and some toothpaste. Remember, keeping your product clean is important.
- Now, set a pot of water on the stove and get it to a rolling boil.
- Once your water is boiled, move it away from the heat source. Wait a small period of time before submerging your anti-snoring device into the hot water.
- The length of time that your mouthpiece sits in the water changes based on the specific manufacturer.
- Once the product is done warming up, move it into your bowl of cold water in order to let the product cool down.
- Once your mandibular advancement device is cool enough to touch, properly line it up in your mouth before biting down.
- Hold your bite nice and firm, don’t move your jaw, and let the bite ‘set.’
- After the thirty seconds or so that you are required to bite the device, remove it from your mouth and set it on the ice. Resting in ice will allow the product to firm again in order to retain your bite impression.
At this point in time, your mandibular advancement device should be ready for your first night of use. If you feel like your bite-and-boil wasn’t accurate enough, you can likely go ahead and repeat the process. Some products allow you to repeat the boiling process up to three times before you begin to attack the integrity of the device.
What To Expect When You Start Using Your Mandibular Advancement Device
As with all anti-snoring products, you are going to go through something of an acclimation process with your mandibular advancement device. Traditionally, when you add an anti-snoring mouthpiece into your nightly routine, you are going to experience a range of different mild sensations. Some of these sensations are positive and others are negative. Thankfully, these sensations aren’t long-lasting and they are uncommon enough as it is.
With your mandibular advancement device properly fitted into your mouth, you’ll almost immediately notice relief from snoring when you are resting. This relief manifests itself with you feeling more refreshed in the morning and more ready to take on the day. You’ll likely wake up in a better mood and be less tired throughout the day.
Mandibular advancement devices also help your partner to rest while you are sleeping next to them. While your snoring shouldn’t be considered a real problem to them, it is hard to ignore the audible sounds and how they can impact you. So, with your mouthpiece in, you should notice that your partner is also getting higher quality rest as well.
As for the side effects, the first thing you’ll notice when first using your mandibular advancement device is that you’ll likely have some measure of trouble falling asleep. When you wear a device in your mouth overnight for the first time, your body almost wants to reject it. By the end of your first week, you should be able to fall asleep with your device implanted with no problems.
The second thing you’ll likely experience when you first start using your mandibular advancement device is mild jaw soreness. Mild jaw soreness manifests itself in people who are completely new to using an anti-snoring mouthpiece. Mild jaw soreness doesn’t last long and you should think of it like the feeling you get after a workout. The more you go to the gym, the less the soreness will impact you.
Finally, you might end up experiencing minor excessive drooling. While this is definitely an embarrassing side effect, it is hardly one worth getting worked up over. As your mouth acclimates to having the MAD inside of it, the drooling problems will subside.
With these minor side effects out of the way, mandibular advancement devices can quickly become a reliable and comfortable part of your nightly routine. Let’s move on with our discussion in order to talk about a serious sleep disorder known as sleep apnea and what our mandibular advancement devices can do to address it.
Mandibular Advancement Devices & Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that is slightly more serious than your everyday run-of-the-mill snoring problem. Sleep apnea manifests itself in a number of different ways, but the condition is most commonly associated with the side effect that leads you to temporarily stop breathing throughout the night. When this happens, you know that you have obstructive sleep apnea. You may now be wondering if a mandibular advancement device can help to treat sleep apnea
The truth is, mandibular advancement devices can be built to address sleep apnea as well as traditional snoring. However, not all devices will be marketed as sleep apnea solutions. In order to make sure that your mandibular advancement device can treat apnea, consult with the manufacturers of the product.
Sleep apnea occurs when your tongue collapses into the back of your throat, thus causing an obstruction in your airway and the corresponding vibrations that ensue. Sleep apnea is more serious than the root causes of snoring because it can also lead to full-on airway obstruction. When your airways are completely obstructed, you stop breathing and that is never a good situation.
With mild sleep apnea, the majority of anti-snoring mouthpieces are going to be effective in treating your condition. If you have more severe sleep apnea, consider consulting a medical professional in order to come to a more complete plan of attack.
In Summary – Sleep apnea is treatable with mandibular advancement devices. However, for the sake of peace of mind, it is suggested that you consult with a medical professional before ordering a mandibular advancement device to treat your sleep apnea.
Are Mandibular Advancement Devices Safe To Use?
Mandibular advancement devices are oral anti-snoring products that you have to wear overnight in order for them to be effective. Any time that you put a product into your mouth, it will lead to you questioning whether or not what you did was safe. Fortunately, all of the best MADs on our list have been completely proven to be safe and effective, backed by the FDA.
The only potential issue that you might run into with a mandibular advancement device is in relation to potential minor side effects. We already touched on potential side effects earlier on in our piece, but we can briefly go over them again.
When you first start using a mandibular advancement device, you might potentially run into minor excess salivation as a result of your body acclimating to the product. If you didn’t accurately follow the boil and bite method, then poor fitting might be to blame.
Additionally, don’t be surprised if you feel a slightly sore jaw when you first start using your mandibular advancement device. Traditionally, this soreness will abate after your first week of usage.
With side effects like the ones we listed above, pay close attention to your body. Typically, most anti-snoring devices say to wait about a week for all of your side effects to go away – if you even get any side effects. If the side effects don’t go away, consider stopping the use of the product and contacting the manufacturer of the device.
In Summary – Mandibular advancement devices are completely safe to use and can be added to your nightly routine without any concern. A small minority of users may experience minor side effects related to drooling and jaw soreness.
How To Maintain Your Mandibular Advancement Device
Anytime that you are discussing an oral product, you have to really consider how well you are maintaining the product. Fortunately, mandibular advancement devices are pretty well made, which means that you won’t have to worry about degradation of the product from a physical perspective. However, you need to get into the habit of following a few maintenance tips.
First, you need to focus on washing your mandibular advancement device after each and every use. Wash your device with warm water and some toothpaste. Treat your MAD like an extension of your own teeth.
Second, you need to allow your MAD to air-dry before returning it to its carrying case. Don’t leave your MAD out and open to the world, especially if you have pets in your house. With proper maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of the mandibular advancement device while also keeping yourself safe and healthy.
How Long Can I Use My Mandibular Advancement Device?
The lifespan of your mandibular advancement device is going to vary based on the manufacturer, the materials, and the maintenance techniques that you employ in taking care of the product. With that being said, there’s no exact one-size-fits-all answer to the lifespan of your MAD.
Traditionally, most mandibular advancement devices need to be replaced at least two to three times per year. However, there are products, like the Zyppah, which can be used for over two years at a time thanks to their quality build and craftsmanship.
Do I Need To Visit My Dentist Before Buying A Mandibular Advancement Device?
The vast majority of mandibular advancement devices do not require you visiting a dentist before purchasing or using them. However, if you want to consult a healthcare professional in order to see if the mouthpiece is right for you, there’s nothing wrong with that. Almost all mandibular advancement devices are available without a prescription, right over the Internet.
How To Choose The Right Mandibular Advancement Device
You now understand how mandibular advancement devices work, when and where to use them, and what to expect out of the products. We even highlighted a list of the best anti-snoring mouthpieces around. What is left to discuss? Well, we can help you to select the right product for you. Here are a few key areas to focus on when you are choosing your next mandibular advancement device.
Budget – Focus on your budget, first and foremost. Mandibular advancement devices range in price anywhere from $30 to $130. The differences between the cheap and expensive options aren’t always as large as they may appear, though there is certainly value in purchasing the premium products.
Style – All of our anti-snoring mouthpieces are of the MAD design. If you want something that addresses your snoring by focusing on your jaw and tongue, this is the product for you.
Features – Finally, you’ll notice that some of our mandibular advancement devices have different features than others. These features include micro-adjustments, boil-and-bite customized fitting, and specialized materials.
At the end of the day, you are going to have to do a little bit of research to decide which mandibular advancement device is perfect for you. Use the guide that we have just walked you through as a foundation in order to lead you to the right place. What follows is a short overview of the best mandibular advancement devices on the market, which can provide you with additional information about each product and help you reach your final decision in no time.
Our Top Picks
After multiple rounds of rigorous testing, we have identified the best snoring aids currently available. Now it is time to choose the best snoring aid for you. With the mini-reviews below, you can find out what makes each of our top picks unique and superior to other solutions on the market and discover which one constitutes the most effective solution for your snoring problem.
ZQuiet has been one of the most popular anti-snoring mouthpieces on the market for the better part of the past decade. It works like any other mandibular advancement device, which is to say that the product targets your jaw in order to slightly extend it. This extension helps to relieve some of the tension in your throat that leads to snoring.
While ostensibly similar to other mandibular advancement devices, ZQuiet works to separate itself from the rest of the pack thanks to a few key features. One of the featured highlights that ZQuiet has to offer is the living hinge design. With the living hinge feature, users are going to be able to move their mouth at their convenience while the mouthpiece is installed. This feature changes the game in a big way as most complaints regarding mandibular advancement devices are focused on how rigid they are in the user’s mouth.
Built out of medical grade material, ZQuiet has proven itself to be a completely safe and durable product. ZQuiet has been approved by the FDA and the manufacturers of ZQuiet have a sparkling rating on the Better Business Bureau. You add up all of these little positive signs and you end up with a mouthpiece that can really make a difference for people suffering from chronic snoring.
Despite the relatively generic name, SleepTight has worked to make a mark on the anti-snoring mouthpiece industry. SleepTight shows off its quality with a smooth aesthetic design and specialized dual laminate fitting technology. It has scored high marks among users for both its affordability and its actual anti-snoring effects.
SleepTight is a boil-and-bite product that relies on users to get an accurate custom bite when they first custom fit the product for their nightly usage. In order to make sure that the customized bite is correctly fitted, SleepTight was designed with dual laminate technology. So long as users are steady when they imprint their bite, the technology will ensure that SleepTight is perfectly fitted.
Outside of the custom fitting feature, SleepTight scores high marks for being a product that excels at what it does while also being durable in the long run. SleepTight easily outpaces competitors in terms of longevity and durability. According to the manufacturers, SleepTight can last up to 30 full months with nightly usage. At under $80, SleepTight is one heck of a bargain for even the most penny-pinching of individuals. SleepTight is not perfect as a product, as it can’t be used by chronic mouth-breathers, but we’re still impressed by the overall impact of the device. If you are looking for an affordable and long-lasting product, SleepTight is for you.
One of the most impressive anti-snoring mouthpieces available, SnoreMeds is priced as a premium product, so there is an expectation that needs to be lived up to. SnoreMeds is a mandibular advancement device that operates by focusing on pushing your jaw forward by micro-adjusting how your jaw rests throughout the night. While repositioning your jaw, SnoreMeds will work to clear up your airway and help you to breathe easier throughout the night.
SnoreMeds is much like many of the other anti-snoring mouthpieces on our list in that you’ll need to make sure that it is customized to your mouth through the boil and bite process. For SnoreMeds, the boil and bite process takes roughly four or five minutes and is incredibly easy to do. Once you have your mouthpiece customized to your mouth, you know you are going to be getting the most effective anti-snoring device possible.
The big thing with SnoreMeds is that it is beholden to many of the same failings of other traditional mandibular advancement devices. Namely, you’ll likely go through some initial discomfort when using SnoreMeds, but that should abate with continued usage.
With a high-quality composite of materials and a quick-and-effective customization process, SnoreMeds is hard to pass up on. The high price may turn off some people, but the long-lasting durability of SnoreMeds should get them right back.
When it comes to looking for the best mandibular advancement device, you want to focus on finding a product that can treat your condition on multiple levels. SnoreRx is one of the more unique anti-snoring mouthpieces on our entire list because its manufacturers focused on implementing a variety of different functions that serve to help you get to where you need to go with your snoring problem.
The focus of SnoreRx is to provide you with a completely customized anti-snoring mandibular advancement device. This mission is accomplished in a variety of different ways. Obviously, SnoreRx works by first having you custom fit the product via the boil-and-bite method. Once you go through the custom fitting process to establish your bite, you can fine-tune the device with the Flex-Jaw and Posi-Lock features. These features keep your MAD finely tuned to your exact needs and specifications.
Additionally, SnoreRx works to make itself more accessible for people who breathe through both their mouth and their nose. SnoreRx features a pair of additional breathing holes, known as the V-Flow design, and these work to allow mouth-breathers the opportunity to use a mandibular advancement device without having to try and breathe through their nose at night.
With SnoreRx, you are getting a mandibular advancement device that has been touted by both the American Sleep Association and the FDA. Built to last and created with safe and durable materials, SnoreRx scores high marks across the board as an effective anti-snoring product. Add SnoreRx to your inventory of anti-snoring devices and you’ll likely reap the benefits quickly.
Zyppahis easily one of the most visually appealing anti-snoring mouthpieces on the market. Designed by the team behind many forms of athletic mouthguards, Zyppah has an immediate advantage in the industry because it appeals to people who are afraid to look dorky while wearing a mouthpiece. Still, Zyppah is more than just a great design, it is one of the best MADs available today.
Zyppah offers users a mandibular advancement device that is well-made, easy to customize, and comfortable to wear throughout the night. What makes Zyppah special, however, is that it is a hybridized anti-snoring mouthpiece. Zyppah works as both a mandibular advancement device and a tongue stabilizing device. What does this mean? Well, it means that Zyppah functionally pulls your jaw forward in order to reduce stress and tension in your throat during rest. The tongue stabilizer also functions to keep your tongue pulled away from the back of your throat, thus preventing one of the most common causes of snoring.
Zyppah is definitely priced as a premium product, but in our opinion, the price is warranted. Zyppah is clinically backed and made in the United States of America. The product has a history of success and a company willing to back their product. While definitely pricey, we feel like Zyppah is meant to be a long-term solution to people dealing with chronic snoring issues. Zyppah is routinely available on discount, so people looking for a deal just need to keep their eyes open.
Relatively new on the anti-snoring market, SnoreMedic promises to be a difference maker for people looking to address their snoring forever. SnoreMedic is an anti-snoring mandibular advancement device that focuses on adjusting your jaw in order to loosen the airways in your throat. By loosening your airways, your tissue and tongue are not going to be able to collapse and cause the minor obstruction that leads to chronic snoring.
SnoreMedic operates in much the same way as the other options on our list. It doesn’t really set itself apart in terms of extra features or doing any singular thing well, but the product does everything as good as any other option – while being priced more affordable than them all.
SnoreMedic is made of BPA-free and latex-free materials. The entire product has been FDA-approved and customers have been glowing in response to how well it actually works. One of the few problems with SnoreMedic is that it is a larger and bulkier mouthpiece, which can lead to some general discomfort when you first start wearing the device in your mouth. However, as soon as you get used to SnoreMedic, you will find that it is effective in directly addressing your snoring issues.
When it comes to choosing your own anti-snoring mouthpiece, you have to be able to balance several different factors. One of the leading factors for many people is the price of the product. At under $40, SnoreMedic is almost a must-buy for people with chronic snoring or sleep apnea related issues.
With AirSnore, customers are likely getting a product that they haven’t heard of before. Still, AirSnore makes our list of the best mandibular advancement devices for a reason. AirSnore is a traditional mandibular advancement device that seeks to extend your jaw by the millimeter. With your jaw extended, the goal of this product is simple: to keep your tongue slightly pulled away from the back of your throat. These micro-adjustments can end up making a huge difference in the functioning of the mechanisms that cause snoring. AirSnore also comes packaged with anti-snoring drops.
Backed by a 60-day guarantee, AirSnore is a relatively affordable and safe way to see if you can solve your snoring with an anti-snoring mouthpiece. AirSnore has sparkling customer service so there is a good reason for this mandibular advancement device to be the first product that many people try in their quest to undo their snoring.
Swinging our focus back to AirSnore itself, we can see that the mandibular advancement device is made out of a high-quality thermoplastic material. AirSnore is a one-size-only device that can be adjusted with the boil and bite method. The actual material of AirSnore has been backed by the FDA and is listed as 100% pharmaceutical-grade in terms of quality.
AirSnore is a high-quality product that is listed at a budget price. If you are looking to try mandibular advancement devices for the first time, this might be the perfect product for you.
SleepPro is an all-in-one anti-snoring solution that seeks to help you remedy your snoring problems from every conceivable angle. SleepPro is considered one of the most effective anti-snoring systems on the market and their partnership with MEDiTAS LTD has helped them earn some serious critical acclaim.
While SleepPro is an exhaustive system that is comprised of chinstraps, mouthpieces, and other individual properties, we’ll focus on their mandibular advancement device. The SleepPro mouthpiece is built for a bite-and-boil customized fitting. After you easily boil the product and bite it in order to customize your fitting, you should be able to use SleepPro almost immediately. With a customized fitting, your jaw is going to be more comfortable throughout the night.
Ever since SleepPro was established in 1998, the manufacturer has continued to improve upon the core products. The budget-friendly price for just the SleepPro mouthpiece makes this an affordable option for first-timers to the world of MADs.
While SleepPro has its downsides, such as the side effects that are common with mandibular advancement devices, we still found this product worthy of making it to our list of the best MADs available. Try out the individual mouthpiece or go after the complete system at your convenience.