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About 10% of women and 25% of women in the US deal with obstructive sleep apnea, which causes loud snores, grunts, and gasps. The condition not only disrupts the victims’ partners’ sleep at night but also puts them at risk of getting a host of diseases like heart conditions, hypertension, and depression.

Using a breathing mask at night

Obstructive sleep apnea happens to a tissue at the back of the throat to block the airways throughout the night, causing breathing problems. The most effective way to treat this condition is through a bedside machine that blows air through a mask to the patient’s airway. However, this method is a bit extreme for people with mild sleep apnea, and they are constantly looking for alternatives.

Oral appliances or dental devices are one alternative to using the bedside machine. Sogol Javaheri, MD, MPH, MA, a sleep specialist at Harvard, however, warns that you should be careful and research widely if you decide to follow this route.

Mandibular advancement devices are made of plastic and snap over your upper and lower teeth. They also feature metal hinges and screws that can be adjusted to push your lower jaw forward. Some dentists make custom mandibular advancement devices, but make sure that yours is experienced in treating sleep-related conditions and is certified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Cunning dentists

Some unscrupulous dentists who are not certified just mold a markup of your teeth and send it to companies that make the device. They then charge you outrageous amounts for the device (upwards of $4,000). What’s more, the device is unlikely to be covered by your dental insurance.

Mouthguards are another way to recover from obstructive sleep apnea. Similar to mandibular advancement devices, help to reposition your lower jaw, though to a lower degree. Some dentists recommend using a SnoreRx, which you can place into a cup of boiling water to soften and then bite so that it molds your teeth, as an alternative to starting with a custom mouthguard. You can purchase the device for less than $100 online, making it one of the most affordable options available.