Dental Medicine

Oral Appliance Therapy

MANDIBULAR ADVANCEMENT SPLINTS (MAS)

Oral appliances called Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) are worn only while sleeping. They are a custom fitted ‘mouth guard’ that gently hold the lower jaw and tongue forward thus opening your airway.

MAS devices fit completely within the mouth. You can speak, drink water, yawn and even kiss while wearing them.

MAS devices are often the first line treatment for snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea, and an excellent alternative to CPAP. They are also compact and ideal for travelling

Our dentists are experienced in the field of Sleep Medicine, and will happily help you select, and make the best MAS for you. Private Health Rebates are available with Dental Extras.

When using a MAS, you will feel refreshed upon waking, have increased energy levels, and have a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and blood pressure problems.

ARE THEY COMFORTABLE?

Yes! A properly fitted MAS does not cause discomfort to your teeth, gums or jaw. Most people find that an oral appliance is both more comfortable and more convenient than CPAP

CUSTOMISED AND ADJUSTABLE

Our state of the art appliances are not only custom made they are also adjustable. This ensures an ideal, comfortable fit, and allows the dentist, and importantly the patient, to slowly bring the lower jaw forward to the ideal most comfortable position that opens the airway and overcomes snoring, tiredness and sleep apnoea.

Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Teeth grinding (medically called Bruxism), is involuntary jaw movement resulting in forceful contact between the upper and lower teeth. It can sometimes create a grinding sound. Clenching is gritting of the teeth for a sustained period of time. Bruxism is also a cause, and symptom of jaw pain, also known as Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD).

Bruxism has been associated with snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and other sleep disorders

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has classified Sleep Bruxism as a SLEEP RELATED MOVEMENT DISORDER

There are two types of bruxism

  1. Primary bruxism –no known cause
  2. Secondary bruxism –caused from something else

Approximately 60% of the population will have Primary Bruxism, as a “normal” grinding habit. In other words, they grind their teeth at night as a normal habit of their sleep.

Causes of Secondary bruxism:

  • Sleep disorders (sleep apnoea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome)
  • Airway obstruction
  • Breathing difficulty (snoring, OSA)
  • Injuries and chronic pain
  • Stress
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Drugs
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine and alcohol

Bruxism is most effectively managed by treating the actual “cause.”

In Primary bruxism, since there is no actual cause, management involves protecting the teeth and mouth from the damaging forces of bruxism. This can be achieved via a dental splint to protect the teeth from wear, and protect the muscles from overworking.

Secondary bruxism is most effectively managed by treating the actual “cause.” As a result, sometimes a dental splint won’t manage the bruxism properly. The splint will only protect the teeth and muscles, but the patient will still grind their teeth.

If the cause of bruxism isn’t properly identified, sometimes a dental splint can worsen the problem. In patients with airway/breathing problems (such as obstructive sleep apnoea, OSA), an improperly designed dental splint can block the airway even more, making it harder for the patient to breathe, and hence, worsen their medical health. Special dental splints called Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) can be made for people with OSA to both manage their airways and protect their teeth from bruxism.