Snoring occurs when the soft tissues of the upper airways partially obstruct the flow of air during sleep. The vibration of these tissues produces a rough sound that can be loud enough to keep sleeping partners awake. An anti-snoring device prevents the partial obstruction of the airways, thereby stopping or reducing snoring.
Some snoring remedies adjust the flow of air in the upper airways in order to reduce or stop snoring from occurring. CPAP or BiPAP machines use positive pressure delivered through a nose piece, mouth piece, both, or facemask to provide enough extra air pressure to prevent the soft tissues from partially obstructing airflow. CPAP machines use continuous positive airway pressure to reduce snoring. BiPAP machines use bilevel positive airway pressure, in which a different amount of pressure is delivered based on whether the breath is an inhalation or exhalation.
Positive airway pressure machines are very effective anti-snoring devices. Nasal CPAP, where continuous positive pressure is delivered through the nostrils, has been found to completely eliminate snoring. Devices which hold the nostrils open to increase airflow through the nose have been found to reduce, but not always eliminate, snoring.
Another snoring solution approach is to adjust the shape of the upper airways to reduce the partial obstructions that lead to snoring. Because what makes you snore is some type of air blockage, simply moving the things that block the air out of the way reduces snoring.
A mandibular advancement splint is an anti-snoring device that draws the lower jaw, or mandible, forward. Two form-fitted plastic trays, one for the upper jaw and one for the lower jaw, fit over the teeth. A spring or elastic connects the two in such a way that the lower plastic tray is pulled forwards. The amount is slight, but the effect of mandibular advancement is to open the upper airways. The mechanism by which this occurs is complex. Physiological research indicates that drawing the lower jaw forwards leads to a number of changes that increases the volume around the velum or soft palate, and the pharynx, or back of the throat.
Many people report positive experiences when wearing nasal strips. An analysis of the scientific research on the subject has found that nasal dilator strips have a small effect on snoring, and internal nasal dilators have a larger effect. However, neither internal or external nasal dilator strips completely eliminated snoring completely. On average, the internal nasal dilators were found to reduce snoring by over 85 snores per hour.
Mouth guards do not stop snoring. While mouth guards and the mandibular advancement splint, an anti-snoring device, have many things in common, there are key differences. A mandibular advancement splint, sometimes called a snore guard, consists of two form-fitted teeth guards that are connected by a spring or elastic under tension. This draws the lower jaw forward, which reduces air obstruction in the mouth and throat. A mouth guard is usually a single piece of material that fits the upper and lower teeth. A randomized control study that gave snorers either simple mouth guards or mandibular advancement splints actually found that snoring increased when a mouth guard was used versus no mouth equipment at all.
Blocking air flow through your nose probably doesn’t stop or prevent snoring. There has been very little research into actively blocking the flow of air through the nostrils as a treatment for snoring, but there has been research into increasing the flow of air through the nostrils. Increasing airflow through the nose has been found to decrease snoring. Continuous positive airway pressure therapy delivered only through the nose treats both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
If you begin snoring, there are a few short-term snoring causes which may be to blame. Drugs such as alcohol or other depressants can cause the muscles in the throat to relax enough to cause snoring, so reducing or eliminating the use of these drugs may help to stop snoring. Sleep position also affects the likelihood of snoring, so if you have begun sleeping on your back, this may be why you are snoring. Other long-term reasons for snoring include weight gain or aging, and it’s possible that the onset of snoring is due to passing the snoring threshold in either of these areas.
© 2021 American Sleep Association.