Frequently Asked Questions about Anti-Snoring Devices

Snoring is a stressful health concern. Anti-snoring devices are common, suggested treatments for snoring and severe apnea.

Those who have not used these devices before will want to know all they can about them.

1. What are anti-snoring devices?

Anti-snoring devices correct breathing difficulties during sleep and decrease snoring.

2. What kinds of anti-snoring devices are there?

Anti-snoring devices include:

a. Mandibular Advancement Devicesb. Tongue Stabilizing Devicesc. Chin-up stripsd. Nasal strips or nasal dilatorse. Nose conesf. Vestibular shieldsg. Anti-snoring pillowsh. Anti-snoring ringsi. Anti-snoring watches

3. How do anti-snoring devices work?

Anti-snoring devices open up the airway, redirect breathing to the nose or strengthen upper airway muscles so that they do not collapse. Each works slightly differently.

a. Mandibular Advancement Devices

Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) push the lower mandible, or jaw, forward slightly. They tighten laryngeal and pharyngeal muscles, which are upper airway muscles, and prevent them from falling back as you sleep. This lessens airway constriction.

b. Tongue Stabilizing Devices

Tongue stabilizing devices (TSDs), which resemble little pacifiers, are small pieces of plastic that sit in the front of your lip. They have a hole in which you insert your tongue. They pull your tongue slightly forward, preventing it from blocking the airway. This lessens snoring.

c. Chin-up strips

These are strips of tape you put below your chin as you sleep. The tape lifts the jaw, preventing breathing through the mouth. You breathe through your nose instead. This stops the tissue in the airway from vibrating and prevents snoring.

d. Nasal strips

These are strips of tape that you put on the bridge of your nose as you sleep. They part nasal passages and leave more space in your airway. They reduce breathing pauses and decrease snoring.

e. Vestibular shields

As per their name, these look like little gum shields that you put between both jaws. They redirect breathing to the nose. They also prevent air from passing through the mouth and vibrating pharyngeal and laryngeal tissue. This cuts snoring down.

e. Nose cones

You wear these inside your nostrils’ openings. They part the nostrils and create more space in your nasal passages. This eases breathing and lessens snoring.

f. Anti-snoring pillows

Anti-snoring pillows place the head in a way that prevents upper airway muscles from collapsing. With less constriction in the airway, you breathe better and snore less.

g. Anti-snoring rings

Experts link anti-snoring rings to the Chinese practice of acupressure. The Chinese believe that the body has a complex system of meridians, or pressure points.

You wear specially designed snoring rings on your little finger. This is a snoring pressure point. The ring puts pressure on this point and eases mild snoring problems.

h. Anti-snoring watches

These watches ring when you snore, forcing you to turn to the side to sleep.

4. Do these devices treat snoring effectively?

Each of these devices works to treat different types of snoring.

Some people snore occasionally because of mild sinus or allergies. They may snore after taking in alcohol, which relaxes upper airway muscles. Alternatively, their bodies, including upper airway muscles, are so exhausted that they relax, causing snoring. In such cases, simpler devices such as nasal strips or chin-up strips suffice.

Others, however, snore repeatedly, despite using these devices. This is a sign of a more serious problem, such as a misaligned jaw. MADs are more effective for those with jaws that are not in place.

5. How do I choose the right anti-snoring device for myself?

You will first have to find out why you snore. If you only snore when you are extremely exhausted or have had a few drinks, you only need simpler devices such as nasal strips, chin-up strips or snoring pillows.

If you snore no matter how you try to ease the problem, see a doctor. He may recommend MADs or TSDs. The former corrects the positioning of your jaw and the latter, the tongue.

6. Can children wear these devices?

It is always best to encourage your children to make lifestyle changes first. If they snore, they can raise their bed heads with wooden planks or learn to sleep on their sides.

If their snoring becomes heavy and they need anti-snoring devices, consult a doctor for treatment. Doctors usually do not recommend MADs or TSDs for children as such devices may disrupt their physical development.

7. Which kind of anti-snoring device is the least expensive?

Less complex devices such as chin-up strips and nasal strips tend to cost less. More complex devices such as MADs and TSDs have a higher price range. The more complex they are, the more expensive.

8. Can I use anti-snoring devices if I wear dentures?

Whether you can use MADs or TSDs depends on the dentures you wear. If you wear a full set of dentures, doctors will probably recommend that you do not use mouthpieces. If you only need partial dentures, there is a chance that you can use them.

9. What are the risks or side effects?

Fitting these devices is a little troublesome at first. You may need an orthodontist’s help to fit MADs. They might cause discomfort or trigger gag reflexes.

Anti-snoring devices may also trigger excess saliva. Aside from these possible risks, these devices are non-invasive and do not cause major problems.

10. What are MADs and TSDs made from?

MADs are splints made from selected metals such as chrome cast alloy or titanium. Health authorities must certify them safe for use.

Manufacturers make TSDs from plastic. Always make sure that they are not made from BPA (Bisphenol A) material, as this is toxic.

11. Can anti-snoring mouthpieces take the place of CPAP?

Anti-snoring devices do not take the place of CPAP or other treatments.

These devices may not work for everyone. Anyone with a deviated septum will need surgery to improve breathing and decrease snoring.

Dentures may prevent you from using an anti-snoring mouthpiece, so the doctor may recommend Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), applied by a ventilator, instead.

12. Does health insurance cover these devices?

Most medical insurance companies have policies that cover therapy for sleep apnea, which include mouthpieces such as MADs and TSDs. However, they do not have policies that cover sleep apnea alone.

13. Are snoring devices permanent solutions?

The only way to permanently stop snoring is to get rid of its triggers. If the triggers are misaligned jaws or tongues, anti-snoring devices will correct them, but only when you sleep. You may need surgery to deal with physical conditions.

14. Are these devices comfortable?

Though some people are sensitive to these devices, they are generally comfortable, with most people easily used to them.

15. How do I get an anti-snoring device fitted?

TSDs are easy to fit. All you have to do is place them in the front of your mouth and put your tongue in the hole.

MADs, however, are more difficult to fit on your own. A doctor may need to adjust it properly.

Doctors usually use the boil and bite method to create molds. A MAD goes into boiling water for a few seconds. The patient then inserts it into his teeth after it has cooled. This leaves an impression, which the doctor uses to create the mold for a new device.

16. Can I breathe through my mouth if I use an anti-snoring device?

Some devices have breathing holes, while others do not. If breathing through your mouth is a concern, look for devices with breathing holes.

17. Are anti-snoring mouthpieces painful?

MADs, when used for the first time, may cause discomfort to the jaw. This disappears once you have become used to them.

TSDs pull the tongue forward, and may make you a little uncomfortable.

18. Do MADs deal with other sleep-related issues?

Yes. MADs go between the upper and lower teeth. This stops them from grinding.

19. Are anti-snoring devices safe?

What concerns some users is that they may swallow their mouthpieces while they are asleep. Health authorities need to approve mouthpieces before use, so if the device has received governmental approval, it is safe.

20. How do I clean a mouthpiece?

You can clean most mouthpieces with toothbrushes and toothpaste. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before proceeding.