Snoring is a whole of life issue, impacting not only the snorer, but also their partner, family and colleagues. The effect is not simply about noise, but about how snoring effects energy, health, lifestyle and work productivity caused by poor sleep. Tongue Stabilizing Devices or TSD’s are the answer for many…
A Tongue Stabilizing Device is a piece of flexible plastic or silicone resin, usually BPA free and similar to what is used in sports mouth guards or baby pacifiers, shaped to fit comfortably in the mouth.
There are multiple causes of snoring (see our Snoring section), many of which are related to the partial blockage of the airway to and from the lungs by the tongue or throat tissue.
A TSD helps open up the blocked airway by gently pulling the tongue forward and away from the back of the throat. A TSD attaches to the tongue through gentle suction and then slightly braces on the lips or teeth to keep the tongue slightly forward, thus preventing the restriction to the airway which causes the bulk of the snoring noise and discomfort.
Each TSD is slightly different but is based on a similar implementation; pinch the end chamber, place your tongue in the hole and the vacuum created pulls your tongue forward.
Unlike Mandibular Advancement Devices or MAD’s, TSD’s do not pull the entire jaw forward and this TSD’s are better suited to people who are less comfortable with the potential pressure on their teeth that MAD’s can exert, and better for people who wear dentures. They look very similar to the popular snoring aids and devices.
And of course, in order to work properly, you have to wear a TSD while you sleep.
No significant side effects have been identified. There will be some discomfort for the first few nights whilst you get used to the feeling, which can be a little disconcerting as your mouth will have an unusual object within it. It can also generate some drooling or, oppositely, a dry mouth which may be disconcerting but manageable if it means a peaceful night for you and your family. If any soreness persists you should stop using your TSD and consult a doctor.
Yes. Unlike with an MAD, a TSD does not sit on or attach to your teeth and therefore is ideally suited for snorers with dentures.
Whether an MAD or TSD or other anti-snoring device is best for you is somewhat a matter of trial and error. We recommend that you consult with your doctor or physician for advice on the best solution for you; at the same time your medical practitioner or specialist can check for other sleep disorder issues such as Sleep Apnea.
Prices for TSD’s range from $39 to $490 with the majority just under $100
Naturally, wear and tear and frequency of use will have an impact on the lifespan of a Tongue Stabilizing Device however, you should expect a minimum of six months and up to two years effective life. Typically you would renew your device every year.
Most medical insurance companies have policies the provide cover for medical sleep devices, however whether you will be covered will depend on the type of policy and depth of coverage; please consult with your health insurance provider for an up to date opinion on the inclusion of TSD’s
Normally no. A TSD is a relatively simple device. Simply place the device in your mouth, place your tongue in the hole at the from and use the devices suction to bring your tongue into the desired location to minimise your snoring
Unlike some of the MAD’s that provide incremental adjustments, TSD’s by their very design basis have a single “setting”. Some manufacturers have more than one size. If you are in doubt, discuss the size and placement with your doctor.
Not usually. There may be some discomfort from having the device in your mouth, but experiencing pain would be highly unusual and if you experience pain in any way you should stop wearing the device. It can take a week or so to get completely comfortable with the tongue being held forward with a TSD.
Placing your TSD in hot water should minimise any build up of bacteria or germs; regular brushing with toothpaste or soaking in mouthwash will keep things fresh for the life of your Tongue Stabilizing Device.
Sadly there is no guarantee that a TSD will resolve your snoring problem. TSD’s don’t work for everyone, particularly if the snoring is in tandem with other health issues, but they do provide improvement for most users. Correct fitting is essential, as is ensuring the device is not damaged or worn out. A change/increase in weight can also have an impact on your snoring as can increasing your consumption of alcohol.
If your TSD does not help you stop snoring, or stops helping, it is time to consider escalating to the next level of stop snoring options:
A Tongue Stabilizing Device can often be a good first step to help you or your partner to stop snoring – they are relatively economical and because they are less bulky they can suit a wide range of snorers. They are also smaller and less invasive than MAD’s. You can find our recommended list of anti snoring devices here, which includes the TSD’s we have reviewed.
It is really important to talk with your physician as you explore anti snoring devices; sometimes snoring can indicate other health issues that only an experienced medical professional can identify and resolve.
© 2021 American Sleep Association.