Mandibular Advancement Device

Definition - What does Mandibular Advancement Device mean?

A mandibular advancement device (MAD), also called an oral appliance, is a night guard that fits inside the mouth and pushes the mandible (lower jaw) forward to prevent the tongue and soft tissue muscles of the throat from blocking the airway. Snoring is a common issue that occurs when the tongue and surrounding musculature relaxes causing it to collapse, consequently narrowing or occluding air from entering and exiting the lungs. Different MAD devices are available over-the-counter or custom-made to provide relief in patients experiencing mild cases of sleep apnea.

WorkplaceTesting explains Mandibular Advancement Device

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious sleep disorder that causes continual snoring and/or intermittent gasping episodes due to an oxygen level decrease in the blood. Mandibular advancement devices are viable solutions to increase air intake in order to facilitate regular breathing patterns. Some MAD oral appliances can attach to a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine where adjusting the pressure may be necessary to accommodate sleep.

Although MAD devices are a primary modality for helping treat snoring and/or obstructive sleep apnea, evidence suggests that the benefits of using MAD oral appliances is marginal in terms of curbing daytime sleepiness. Persistent sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea pose a health and safety hazard for companies where employees are more susceptible to cognitive impairments. A diagnosis from a physician or sleep therapist can support an applicant and/or employee’s case for having a legitimate sleep disorder against potential discrimination.

Many employers will provide reasonable accommodations to enable people with sleep disorders to meet company standards with the mutual benefit of limiting hazard risks for employers to deter accidents and subsequent injuries. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) serves as a legal recourse for candidates with OSA or other sleep disorders in the event that perceived biases hinder employment. MAD oral appliances can effectively reduce snoring and alleviate obstructive sleep apnea, in turn, improving the quality of sleep, which makes individuals more efficient and productive on the whole.

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