The Ins, Outs and Roundabouts of Mandibular Splint

By Ava Brown, September 30, 2014

If you are tired of your leaky nose mask and noisy Cpap machine, then you should definitely try a mandibular splint. In the last few years, this oral device has emerged as one of the most effective sleep apnea treatment. Patients that have mild to moderate sleep apnea symptoms find mandibular splint quite useful. This mouth guard-type device uses a unique mechanism that prevents the upper airway from collapsing.

Mandibular Splint

How does mandibular splint work?

You need to put the device inside your mouth to help push the lower jaw froward and hold it in place during the night. Sleep apnea patients prefer mandibular splints because it can be custom-made. In fact, it is made according to patient’s mouth size and shape. If you can’t get enough sleep or keep waking your partner during the night, then consider using mandibular splint. For maximum results, wear this oral device night and day.

What are the pro’s and con’s of the mandibular splint?

  • Unlike Cpap machines, mandibular splints are easy to carry with you. OSA patients love this device for its simplicity and portability. No need to look for a power supply anymore. Now, your travels can be worry-free.
  • Mandibular splint device has shown as an effective sleep apnea and snoring treatment that reduces snoring and improves the quality of sleep. This device will help you stop snoring, if the problem is not that severe.
  • The downside of this oral device is that it may take few weeks until you get used to wearing it. Patients that have damaged throat tissue, due to snoring, might need more time to get used to it.
  • If you have been using the mandibular splint for quite some time you can start sleeping without it, but only once or twice a week.
  • One of the reasons why patients opt for mandibular splint is the fact that this device improves oxygen desaturation, arousal indices and sleep architecture. Studies show that patients who wear the device from 1-5 years have significantly reduced the snoring symptoms.
  • Wearing mandibular splints might cause some common side effects like salivation, mouth dryness, joint pain, gum irritation or dental discomfort. However, these are all individual. Many things can affect the final outcome, including the type of device and dental expertise.