Hi, I am Robert Bates
I have a snoring problem. Well, actually I had a snoring problem. Snoring is not a joke though [...]
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Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces: Which is the Best?
They are known to work well, have little to no negative side effects, and some are even proven in clinical settings before they come to the market.
Oral appliances are one of the oldest and most developed kinds of snoring solutions. Doctors, dentists, and designers have had a lot of time to get the kinks worked out. This is definitely a good thing for you.
However, it is important to know that there are different kinds of them on the market. Both are made to help keep you from snoring, but one works much better than the other. Let me explain.
Jaw Holding Vs. Tongue Holding
The first is called a mandibular advancement or jaw retaining device.
The second is called a tongue retaining or tongue holding device.
Both kinds can work very well for the right person, but how do you know which kind will work for you? Once you know the differences between these two kinds of devices you will know the answer.
First type: Jaw Retaining (Mandibular Advancement Devices – MAD)
As for the jaw retaining variety, this kind of device focuses on by moving your jaw into a certain position and keeping it there during sleep.
These gadgets can work for some individuals, but the results are limited.
This is because of the fact that they focus on keeping your jaw in the proper position and nothing else. Keeping the jaw in place may help some people, but it will only eliminate snoring for a select few.
Typically a jaw advancing device will fit between your teeth, almost like an athletic mouth guard. Many of them also have a similar fitting process since they need to be heated so that they can form to and fit over your teeth in a snug fashion.
As you can imagine this is not the most comfortable thing to sleep with. Others have to be made and fitted by a dental professional.
Not a Pretty Sight
Snoring solutions that focus on your jaw aren’t very glamorous either. Some people with a bad gag reflex can choke on the device as soon as they relax. Others find themselves choking on their own saliva even if their gag reflex is not an issue.
Sometimes people can’t even relax enough to fall asleep with a device like this. Remember, a snoring solution that keeps you from sleeping isn’t much of a solution!
Oddly enough the jaw holding kind actually encourages this tense state. That’s why they work (for those that can fall asleep with one).
It is designed to make you bite down to hold it in place. This keeps tension in your jaw and also is what can keep you from relaxing enough to fall asleep. You know as well as I do that tension of any kind at bed time never works out well.
Serious Side Effects
If you are still considering a jaw holding device as a snoring solution you need to know the real risks that come with it. They go far beyond ruining the quality of your sleep.
Besides the fact that high costs can be involved in getting and fitting a custom piece there are some actual health risks that come with using one.
The first thing that most users of this device complain about is pain in the muscles of their face. This makes sense when you think about how it works. Since the only reason it works is by causing tension the muscles of your face end up doing more work at night than they do during the day. The long periods of tension these solutions cause can lead to pain for anyone.
Another common side effect of using one is improper alignment of the jaw. This may not sound like a big deal to you but it is. These things can create an under or overbite. This can lead to even more problems as well as changing the shape of your face and mouth.
Aside from the bite problems jaw pain is a very real issue as well. It’s the same problem that causes facial pain. All of that extra muscle tension for six to eight hours every night adds up. During sleep is when your body is supposed to relax. Since your face and jaw never get to do that with this kind of product, chronic pain is a very real possibility.
Second Type: Tongue Holding (Tongue Retaining Device – TRD)
There isn’t a wide selection of these on the market yet but those who have tried them agree that they work better and are easier to sleep with.
This little gadget is much better than the jaw retaining kind. One of the nice things about them is that they can be very comfortable. Comfort is not something that should be overlooked when picking a product like this. If the product does not fit comfortably how are you ever going to get a good night’s sleep with it?
Everyone Deserves To Be Comfortable
The main reason these oral devices are more comfortable is because they let you relax. They do not rely on tension to work. This fact alone greatly increases their comfort.
Tongue retaining solutions are also made of different materials. Normally a jaw retaining solution is made of hard plastic and wire. A device made to hold your tongue has to be made of soft plastic so that it doesn’t irritate your tongue or other things in your mouth. Wire is not used in them either. These two factors go a long way towards making this kind of product very comfortable.
There is another big reason that this option is more comfortable. They look completely different! This kind of mouth guard doesn’t fit over your teeth. Since it doesn’t fit over your teeth you never feel the need to bite down on it and clench your jaw. The entire tension issue has been eliminated with these.
Work for More People
In addition to the improved comfort, the tongue focused device also works in more ways to prevent snoring. Jaw correcting mouthpieces can only prevent snoring that is caused by the jaw hanging open while you sleep.
The tongue devices are completely different in this area. It can help if your tongue, jaw, or mouth structures cause you to snore. Also, positioning the tongue the way these do can really open up your airway.
This makes sense because your tongue is the biggest thing inside your mouth. If you put the biggest thing in your mouth in the right position then things will improve no matter what.
A Very Safe Option
When it comes to risks and side effects, you really can’t beat a tongue retainer. I’m not exaggerating. If you have a gag reflex, you have nothing to worry about.
No part of one of these appliances will go near your throat. You do not have to worry about your teeth, jaw, face, or bite issues either.
This kind of devices only touches your tongue and the outside of your lips. The worst thing one of these can directly cause is a tender spot on the tip of your tongue, and that usually lasts less than a week.
These devices are as close to risk free as you can get with a snoring solution. I personally have never had a bad experience with one and I have not heard of any horror stories from other users.
Some people just don’t like them, but there are also some people that just don’t like pizza, ice cream, and football.
But How Well Do They Work?
Some people with sleep apnea that have had to use a CPAP device have even been able to get rid of the device and switch to a tongue retaining device. That’s how effective the right solution can be. If you don’t know what a CPAP system looks like, it’s not very comfy looking! Most of them remind me of something from a bad sci-fi movie.
There are many prevent snoring mouthguards on the market today, but not all of them work well. There are still a few junk products out there. Luckily a lot of them do work for most people. These are usually the tongue retaining kind. The difference in effectiveness is huge.
The mouthpiece is my method of choice to prevent snoring. I’ve tried them all and I know how well each one works. If you decide to go with a mouthpiece make sure you read my article about the Good Morning Snore Solution. That’s the one I use and I have a lot of good reasons for making that choice. It also happens to be one of the few tongue retaining solutions available.
One of the unique advantages of using these products is that this solution effectively treats multiple causes of snoring. This is truer for ones that hold your tongue. Other solutions tend to focus on only one cause or another. If your snoring is caused by more than one thing then a tongue correcting device is definitely the way to go.
One of these is also ideal for you if your snoring is caused by your tongue. A tongue retaining product will hold your tongue in place properly and keep it from hanging back towards your throat. However, the jaw retaining kind cannot do this.
If you sleep with your mouth open then this kind of solution will also benefit you. In this case the mouthpiece keeps you from snoring by keeping your mouth in the proper position. This is true for both varieties of devices.
When to Avoid Use
One important thing to remember about these is when to avoid them. There is not a snoring cause that would prevent you from ever using an oral device, but if you have allergies or sinus problems using one can cause additional problems.
What I’m saying is just use a little common sense. If you can’t breathe through your nose because of your allergies, sinus problems, or a cold then do not use one until you are doing better.
Overall an anti-snoring mouthpiece really is a great option that does work. Some people see more improvement than others, but most people do see a great improvement when using this kind of product. This is my preferred solution for many reasons and you will see why too in my articles about other options.
This one is convenient, cost efficient, safe, and effective just to name a few off the top of my head. Some of the products that are available can’t lay claim to any of those! The tongue retaining mouthpiece is safely the best snoring solution on the market.
People switching from a CPAP system to a tongue retaining product just because they like it better should tell you something about how good some of them are and how much they could do for you.
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