3-D Mouthpieces the Answer to Snoring
3-D Mouthpieces the Answer to Snoring
In the current state of technology, the art of 3-D printing is now making it easier for doctors to help cure health conditions that were once considered untreatable. One of the latest advancements that 3-D printing has made possible is the cure for snoring.
While there are still tests, studies and more overall research that needs to be conducted on these new mouthpieces, many feel this could be a major step in the right direction for those who suffer from snoring. Scientists have begun to make titanium mouthpieces that are made to make people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and other forms of apnea breathe easier at night.
Titanium Mouthpieces: The Cure?
These titanium mouthpieces may sound like they would be uncomfortable to sleep in, but they are made to divert the air around your teeth and to your windpipe. Your windpipe is the area that needs the air the most and by passing the tongue area, the chance of your tongue causing an obstruction – and the snoring sounds – is lessened.
The fact that these titanium mouthpieces would be custom made for each patient would ensure that they fit comfortably. Each person has a different sized mouth from the next and the same goes for the size of the teeth. It is because of this that the 3-D aspect of these mouthpieces is important. In the past, there have been countless mouthpieces produced and marketed towards those affected by snoring, but since each person is different, this tool would only work part of the time for some of the patients.
These mouthpieces are easy to use. As soon as you get one, you bite down and it is custom-fit. The titanium mouthpieces are coated with medical-grade plastic, so they are safe to bite down on each night and comfortable to keep in your mouth.
According to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization is Australia is heading up this research and their 3-D titanium printer can run 40 of these mouthpieces in 14 hours. This printer makes each mouthpiece by slowly depositing layer upon layer of titanium powder to make each unit. It is the same process other manufacturers would use to make products with their 3-D printer.
The technology of 3-D printing is one that has taken a head of steam over the past few years and this product is another in a long line of items that have been created in the medical field.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
For those that are unfamiliar with obstructive sleep apnea, it is the most common apnea a person can be diagnosed with. Apnea in itself is a disorder in which you may experience pauses in your breathing while you sleep. The pauses in breathe can last as short as a few seconds to as long as a few minutes. In any given hour, a person may experience 30 or more apneas and over time, when left untreated, could pose a serious problem to your health including obstructive sleep apnea and more.
When a person has obstructive sleep apnea, what happens is their airway is being blocked while you sleep or may even collapse. When this occurs, your breathing may become shallow or even the outright pause.
When you have that obstruction in your airway and your body continues to try and send out the normal amount of air, the obstruction leads to the vibrations against your airway, which are what in turn causes the snoring sounds that affect those in your household. This condition is more likely to occur in patients that are overweight, but can affect anyone at any time.
Why is it Dangerous?
One reason why obstructive sleep apnea is dangerous is because the person that suffers from the condition is unaware that they even have it. If you sleep by yourself, your pauses in breathing and the sudden gasps that are known to occur when the pauses stop would go unnoticed. The longer you allow your body to suffer through obstructive sleep apnea, the more likely it is that you would develop high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, obesity, and diabetes. The condition
can also increase your chance of developing heart failure, cause arrhythmias and can also lead to dangerous situations on the road while driving or when at work.
Many people think that snoring is just something that affects bedmates of those who do snore. That is not the case. While many people think it is alright to joke around snoring, the conditions it can lead to are serious. When these titanium 3-D printed mouthpieces are released to the mass public later this year, they could be the biggest advancement in the field in the past 20 years.
About the Author
a 2012 graduate of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn. He is a professional writer and author of a cookbook for men called Men Cook Too. He is also the owner of The First Pitch and can be followed on Twitter.