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Capital & Coast DHB Dental Service

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Mandibular Advancement Splints

A mandibular advancement splint (MAS) is a device worn in your mouth to treat obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring.  While the MAS is supplied by the Dental Service the overall management of your sleep apnoea remains with the Respiratory Service.

The MAS works by moving your lower jaw slightly forward. This tightens the muscles and soft tissues of your upper airway and helps prevent your airway closing (obstructing) during sleep. Loud snoring will also be reduced as the tightening of these tissues also stops them vibrating noisily as air passes over them.

Dental health

The MAS fits onto your teeth. Your mouth needs to be healthy and your teeth well maintained for it to be successful. You must have your teeth checked by a dentist before a MAS is provided and continue to see your dentist regularly after it is fitted. Any changes to your teeth, e.g. new tooth fillings or removal of teeth (extractions), may upset how the MAS fits in your mouth.

The fit of your MAS can also be affected if you put on or lose large amounts of weight.

What are the side effects of wearing a MAS?

After you start wearing a MAS a number of side effects may occur. These side effects usually improve within a few weeks and may include:

  • Your teeth, jaw joint(s) and/or your jaw muscles may ache
  • You may have an Increased amount of saliva (spit)
  • If you are breathing through your mouth more than before your mouth may feel drier
  • Over time wearing the MAS may cause some of your teeth to move. This is not usually noticeable. If the teeth movement becomes noticeable you will need to decide whether the benefits of wearing a MAS outweigh the dental effects

This page was last updated at 9:11AM on April 30, 2020.