While some people may think it would be strange to visit a dentist for breathing problems, these professionals may be qualified to recommend a treatment for individuals who experience disruptive snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.
According to a recent study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, a new oral device may be able to provide evidence for the efficacy of mandibular advancement splints (MAS). The latter extend the jaw when worn at night, which increases airway space.
The new Sonomat device used sensors to detect and record instances of snoring, sleep apnea and body movement.
The study's results showed that MAS treatment reduced the number of breathing pauses per hour from 10.3 to 3.8, on average. Moreover, the number of body movements decreased by more than eight events per hour.
Also, less than half of the participants who experienced regular snoring did so while wearing MAS, the findings indicated.
"Overall, significant reductions in snoring were found to occur with MAS therapy with greater changes seen in obstructive sleep apnea patients," said lead researcher Joachim Ngiam.
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