Which Stop Snoring Mouthpiece Is Best For You?
Snoring happens when the pathway from your nose and mouth to your lungs is narrowed causing the tissues of the throat to vibrate. One factor that contributes to the narrowing of the airway is when the tongue, tonsils and soft palate relax and fall back when you sleep. Based on this fact, stop snoring mouthpieces were developed to correct this condition by repositioning the lower jaw forward. When the lower jaw is moved forward, the tongue is also repositioned away from the back of the throat opening up the airway.
If you suffer from mild snoring, these mouthpieces can significantly reduce your symptoms of snoring. In a minute, I’ll go over some of the popular over the counter stop snoring mouthpieces and my recommendations.
However, if you suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a condition where you wake up gasping for air several time throughout the night, further medical treatment may be necessary. OSA is caused when your tongue falls backward and obstructs your airway for a period of 10-40 seconds. Your bedtime partner will be one of your best witnesses to this condition.
If you suspect you may have OSA, don’t attempt self treatment with over an over the counter mouthpiece or device. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, OSA can lead to more serious health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, forgetfulness, and extreme daytime tiredness. Medical treatment for this condition needs to be diagnosed by a qualified doctor or dentist trained in sleep medicine. Your doctor may refer you for a sleep study and a CPAP (continuous airway positive airway pressure) device may be prescribed at bedtime. Surgery to remove excess tissue may also be indicated.
Patients who have used the CPAP device have had a high rate of success in treating OSA. However, you may be one of those patients who cannot tolerate wearing the device all night for the following reasons:
1) The device can be uncomfortable and noise
2) CPAP treatment hasn’t been successful
3) You don’t qualify for CPAP treatment
4) Your treatment success requires behavioral lifestyle changes such as weight loss
5) You prefer a device that is smaller and easier to use
In fact, studies have shown properly fitting stop snoring mouthpieces or appliances are 50-70% successful in treating mild snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea. This exceed the success rate for surgical intervention to treat snoring. In fact, the Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends snoring appliances as the first choice to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea.
You local dentist can fabricate a custom appliance to treat your snoring. While you will invest a little more than over the counter stop snoring mouthpieces, you will get better results with a proper fitting mouthpiece. In addition, you will be under the care of a qualified professional to monitor your snoring, especially if you suffer from sleep apnea. My advice is to seek a dentist trained in sleep medicine who can treat mild to moderate sleep apnea.
If you decide you want to experiment with over the counter snoring mouthpieces to save money, exercise caution when purchasing these products. They are only suitable if you have mild snoring and not all products perform the same. You’ll see many of these products advertised under the names of SnoreRx, Pure Sleep, Z Quiet, Snore Mender, and Ripsnore.
Some of these over the counter products are made with dental lab quality materials while others are boil-and-bite. Some products require you to take a self impression of your teeth and send to the manufacturer to fabricate. Some of these products are designed to automatically reposition the lower jaw forward while some use screws to accomplish this movement.
If you want more information on the effectiveness of these products and to learn more about what custom snoring appliances your dentist can make, you’ll want to grab a copy of my special report.