When you fall asleep, your body’s muscles relax, including those in your neck and throat. If you sleep on your back, these relaxed muscles can have a tendency (especially if you’re overweight or under-toned) to partially block your air passage. When this happens, you snore! But, there are non-surgical options to help prevent snoring, and some of them are pretty affordable. With its simple concept and ease-of-use, the snoring mouthpiece is one of the most popular and oldest anti-snoring devices available.
Let’s take a deep dive into understanding what a snoring mouthpiece is, how it works, and whether they’re really worth buying. In the long run, will they be the best solution? Perhaps not, but let’s take a look:
What is a Snoring Mouthpiece and How Does it Work?
The anti-snoring mouthpiece is an oral device designed by dentists (orthodontists or dental technicians, really) that helps control the position of the mouth while sleeping. There are lots of options available, but it’s important to recognize that there are lots of options available, but it’s important to recognize that an anti-snoring mouthpiece is different from many of the over-the-counter options. These options may include mouth guards that keep you from clenching and grinding your teeth at night — it is important to note that these are different products that have different use than the anti-snoring mouthpiece.
What we’re talking about here is the “stop snoring mouthpiece” (the fancy, specific name is a “mandibular advancement device” or MAD) which keeps the tongue from sliding to the back of the mouth and the jaw from fully relaxing at night. These snoring mouthpieces ensure that your soft palate tissue and tongue don’t block your airway. They may look like a snoring mouth guard but they’re more complicated, featuring custom springs and adjustments that push your lower jaw and tongue forward so you can breathe through your mouth more regularly. For some folks, these work like a charm — and it’s definitely worth it to find out if they’ll work for you.
Pros & Cons of the Snoring Mouthpiece
You can find many snoring mouthpiece reviews with a simple Google search, and while most of them tend to be positive, snoring mouthpieces also have some definite downsides. Take a look at the pros and cons list of using these oral devices to note what you might be getting yourself into, especially if you’re considering a mouthpiece to replace other anti-snoring options like a CPAP Machine, only if advised by your doctor.
Simpler than CPAP — One of the primary reasons sleep apnea sufferers turn to snoring mouthpieces is to get away from a CPAP machine, which can be cumbersome and uncomfortable. A tongue-retaining mouthpiece is not only a fraction of the cost of a nicer CPAP, but it removes the whole machine — motor, mask, tubing — and replaces it with something more manageable. And it is way more affordable than the CPAP machine. Keep in mind that if you have apnea you should always choose your snoring solution with your doctor’s approval.
Strengthen — An anti snoring mouthpiece can work to strengthen your tongue and surrounding mouth muscles! When these muscles become stronger, snoring symptoms decline. Lacking muscle definition is one of the main reasons that people regularly snore.
Sleep Position — With an anti-snoring mouthpiece, you don’t have to worry about sleeping on your side (if you’re a back sleeper) or buying a custom pillow to fit into with a cumbersome face mask. You can sleep however is most comfortable to you, because your snoring mouthpiece will be custom to your mouth and jaw.
Ease of Use — It’s simple and approachable! You simply put the dang thing in your mouth, tighten up the screws, and voila! No replacing pieces or complicated setups.
Travel-Friendly — For those who frequently travel, a snoring mouthpiece is a much easier alternative to cumbersome and delicate solutions. These oral devices are easy to transport with a (usually-provided) hardshell case.
Better Sleep! — This is what it’s for, right? If it didn’t cut down on your snoring and improve the quality of sleep that you (and your partner) get at night, it wouldn’t be worth it at all.
Cons -- What You Don’t Know Might Hurt You
Discomfort — When you buy a stop snoring mouthpiece and have it fitted to your mouth, there’s pretty much a guarantee that an adjustment period will be discomforting. It’s a tradeoff for better sleep, but you might spend a few weeks (or months) getting used to the new device.
Jaw Pain — Sometimes, your new snore guard can make your jaw muscles ache, as these snore mouthpieces are designed to keep your muscles engaged throughout the night or push the jaw forward which is an unnatural position. This is especially true with mandibular advancement devices that use hinges (usually adjustable) that keep your jaw open. You’ll get stronger, but it’ll take adjustment.
Sore Teeth — Sometimes these anti snore mouthpiece will hurt your teeth, which is usually a sign that they just need a simple adjustment (talk to your dentist!).
Drooling & Drying — Because this type of snore guard props your mouth slightly open so you can breathe easy… you may find yourself drooling more than you’re used to. On the other hand, having your mouth open can cause dry mouth. There are sprays for the dry mouth but, counterintuitively, drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration will also help prevent drooling while you sleep.
Tooth decay and Damaged Gumline — The anti snoring mouthpiece has to be thoroughly washed otherwise it can cause tooth decay over time. The mouthpiece can also damage your gumline so you have to make sure you do regular checkups with your dentist if you are using one.
What if a Snoring Mouthpiece Doesn’t Work for You?
So, what’ll it be? If you suffer from heavy snoring, you may be at higher risk of serious health complications such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or sleep deprivation. It only takes one trip to the dentist and a small investment in your sleep hygiene to improve things, but don’t discount the possible side-effects and difficulty of adapting to a new snoring solution. You should be getting 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, not jolting awake every 20 minutes or less gasping for fresh air.
There is a snoring solution that doesn’t have all the cons of snoring mouthpiece but can help reduce snoring. Smart Nora is the world’s most comfortable snoring solution that doesn’t even touch any part of your body. Throughout the night, Nora listens for early sounds of snoring before they become loud enough to wake you or your sleeping partner. Once snoring is detected, Smart Nora starts a gentle movement in the pillow. The gentle motion of the pillow stimulates the throat muscles, allowing for natural breathing to resume, helping your partner and you sleep through the night. After the first 3-5 nights, this motion fades into the background and doesn't wake up the snorer anymore. The result is a peaceful sleep for everyone!