When your throat muscles relax to the point of collapse and block your airway while you sleep, you have obstructive sleep apnea. When this happens, your body runs out of oxygen and you have to wake up every few minutes to gasp for air.
Patients with sleep apnea who use a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine wear a mask all night to keep their airway open.
Mandibular advancement devices (MADs), which are similar to mouthguards, have been demonstrated to function as well as CPAP in treating sleep apnea in many patients, according to experts.
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