Boy with Anti Snoring Mouthguard

Below is a comprehensive review of the different types of anti-snoring mouth guards, snoring devices, and mouthpieces and how they stop snoring. Each works in a unique manner to reduce airway resistance and increase air flow through the upper airway. While no product can guarantee that it will work for all people, there is much research demonstrating that many of these categories of snoring devices are effective for many people.

What is Snoring and How Do Snoring Devices Work?

Snoring is simply the sound of resistance and turbulence in the upper airway. Contrary to popular belief, the sound of snoring does not come from the nose. Rather, snoring starts in the back of the airway. Behind the tongue, the oropharynx may become constricted during sleep. 

What Causes Snoring?

About 50 percent of the population snores, so you are most likely very familiar with the sound of snoring. During sleep, the muscles that keep the upper airway open and patent relax. This is more prominent during REM sleep, or dream sleep, when muscles are most relaxed. As the airway gets smaller, air turbulence increases. The soft tissues in the back of the throat vibrate, which is what causes the snoring sound. Learn more about the causes of snoring here.

Medical Illustration of Snoring

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that is characterized by repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep. Pauses occur several times per hour and last for over 10 seconds. As the blood-oxygen levels decrease, the brain awakens the individual which often leads to a loud gasp or snort. Sleep apnea is associated with snoring, witnessed pauses in breathing, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

How Do Snoring Devices Work?

Snoring occurs because the soft tissues in the back of the throat vibrate and press against other throat anatomy, causing resistance and turbulence – the snoring sound. The anti-snoring mouth guard or night guard brings the jaw forward. This widens the back of the airway, reducing resistance and turbulence which can stop the snoring.

Types of Snoring Devices

When choosing a snoring device, one of the most important variables is comfort. Making sure your device is comfortable is crucial because it encourages you to wear it as much as possible, leading to noticeable results. There are several types of snoring devices that work in different manners. Two of the most popular are Tongue Stabilizing Devices (TSD) and Mandibular Advancing Devices (MAD), also called JAD or jaw advancing devices.

Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) This method is named after the mandible or jaw bone. It refers to the effect of moving the jaw slightly forward which results in a greater separation of the vibrating elements in the throats of snorers. This yields less turbulence and less snoring. The MADs used for treating sleep apnea are similar to many of the simple snoring devices listed here because they all move the jaw forward.

One of the most common complaints with MAD snoring devices is teeth shifting and tooth discomfort. For people with dental issues, the MAD may not be a suitable candidate.

Tongue Stabilizing Devices (TSDs) This method takes a slightly different approach and seeks to isolate the tongue, pulling the tongue forward and creating a wider gap between the tongue and the back of the throat. This helps reduce or eliminate snoring. One of the benefits of the TSD compared to other snoring devices is that, generally, they do not cause jaw discomfort. They are less likely to cause TMJ or tooth shifting. For people who have dental issues or missing teeth, the TSD may be a more desirable option.

One of the complaints with TSDs is that people sometimes feel uncomfortable with the position of the tongue. Also, there are several reports of increased salivation (more spit in the mouth). 

Snoring chin straps These are also popular products. However, their efficacy is less established in research literature.

Most Popular Anti-Snoring Mouth Guards, Mouthpieces, and Snoring Devices:

ASA receives a financial benefit from linking to some of these snoring devices.

How to Fit Snoring Devices and Anti-Snoring Mouth Guards

Most of these devices are made of thermoplastic and look similar to sports mouth guards. This rubbery-like plastic has some flexibility which helps with comfortable use on a wide array of people.

TSDs

The TSDs are often ‘one size fits all.’ There are few variables with TSDs and they are ready to use out of the box.

MADs

The MAD and MAD-like devices may require extra fitting. Some MAD snoring devices can simply be placed directly in the mouth and used. Many of these MADs are now adjustable for snoring efficacy. Some of these adjustable devices require a tool for adjustment. By turning an allen wrench, the mandibular part of the mouthpiece can move forward or backward. This can allow for fine tuning of the device based on efficacy and comfort.

Boil and Bite

More advanced anti-snoring mouth guards use a ‘boil and bite’ feature which allows for the personalization of the device. These boil and bite devices allow for custom fitting with your mouth and teeth. Usually, the devices are placed in boiling water for several seconds. After cooling the device for a few seconds, it is placed in the mouth. The user bites down on the formable piece and pushes the soft plastic against the teeth. Once the process is complete, the snore guard is customized for that user’s mouth. If the impression needs to be fixed, some of these dental devices can be refitted by simply repeating the process.

Snoring Device

FAQs: Snoring Devices

How much do snoring devices cost?

The cost of snoring devices ranges from about $30 to $150. Snoring mouthpieces that are made by dentists may cost $500 to $1000.

How long do snoring devices last?

This depends on the type of device and how often it is used. Most snoring devices are not expected to last for more than one year.  Some may last for a few years. Keep in mind that with grinding and clenching that the pieces may wear down.

What about dentures and snoring devices?

Most snoring devices do not work with denture users. The MADs require teeth to be the anchor of the mouth. There needs to be something to grip the mandible so that it can be moved forward.

Is an anti-snoring mouth guard the same as a bruxism device or a sports mouth guard?

No, snoring devices are different from brux guards and sports mouth guards. They may look and feel the same, but they work in different ways. MAD devices do offer some protective value for people who have bruxism or teeth clenching problems. Although MADs may prevent the destruction that is caused from bruxism and teeth grinding, it is unclear if they prevent consequences of teeth clenching – like abfractions.

Do I need a physician’s prescription or order for these treatments?

Some snoring treatments are offered over the counter (OTC). Snoring nose strips, and sprays (not recommended by this author) are offered without a doctor’s order. However, many of the MADs offered in the U.S. do require a physician order as they are listed as FDA Class II devices.

Do I need a doctor’s order for simple snoring devices?

For some snoring devices, you do need a doctor’s prescription. Because many of these devices are regulated by the US FDA, they are considered treatment devices. There is concern that many individuals that have more severe health issues (like obstructive sleep apnea) may be undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed, and have complications as a result of no clinician intervention. In general, it is recommended that you speak with your physician and dentist about using these devices before you use them.

What is the difference between an expensive snoring device and a less expensive one?

Expensive snoring devices can often be adjusted and customized which is why you pay more for them. Additionally, many of the newer and more expensive devices avoid latex materials and plastics that contain BPA. Latex can be problematic for people allergic to the material and BPA is currently being studied because of the consequences of absorption into the body. Most high-quality food containers and medical devices avoid latex and BPA because of these possible risks.

Can I use anti-snoring mouth guards for treating sleep apnea?

Some snoring devices have an FDA indication for treatment of mild obstructive sleep apnea. Unless ordered in conjunction with physician care, you should not use a simple snoring device for the treatment of sleep apnea.

One of the risks of using a simple snoring device for the treatment of sleep apnea is that the device will not adequately treat all of the respiratory issues during sleep. Essentially, the user risks being under-treated. There is an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, deadly heart rhythms, and accidents from daytime sleepiness in patients with untreated obstructive sleep apnea.

What about central sleep apnea and snore guards?

Generally oral devices are not used for the treatment of central sleep apnea.

What should I do after getting a snoring device?

As mentioned above, it is good practice to talk to your doctor and dentist before starting any treatment. Having good dental care and following dental hygiene is important in maintaining oral health.  Once you have the device, you should follow up with your doctor and dentist. If you have pain or discomfort, this is something that should be discussed. If you have persistent snoring, pauses in breathing, witnessed apneas or gasps, or excessive daytime sleepiness, you may need to be evaluated for sleep apnea.

How do I maintain and care for my anti-snoring mouth guard?

One of the most important things is to keep your snoring device away from animals that like to chew things. Dogs are well known for using snore mouthpieces for chew toys. Keep your device in a protective container away from pets.

There are special cleaning fluids that can be purchased to clean your device. Simply using water with a gentle toothbrush will keep particles off of the device and help to prevent fungus and bacteria from growing on the device.

What if snoring persists while using the snore device?

Using an anti-snoring mouth guard does not guarantee that snoring will stop. Although these options work for many, they do not work for all. Additionally, what might work in Year 1 may not work in Year 2. If you find yourself continuing to snore with the device, go through this checklist of possible problems.

  • Device Use: Make sure that you are using the device correctly. Make sure that the lower jaw is moving forward relative to the upper jaw with the device in place. Your snoring device may allow for adjustment in order to optimize snore reduction. Do not exceed the stated adjustment instructions.
  • Weight Gain: Often snoring will get worse with weight gain. If you gain 5 to 10 pounds (or more), your device may not be as effective. Losing some weight might certainly improve sleep breathing status. There is much data that shows a correlation between weight and snoring, as well as weight and sleep apnea.
  • Alcohol Use: Snoring is also known to get worse with alcohol use. Avoid alcohol 4 hours before sleep.
  • Sleeping Position: Snoring often is also worse in the supine or back position. Sleeping on your side may help to reduce snoring.

As mentioned before, snoring could also be a sign of sleep apnea. Learn about treatments for sleep apnea including CPAP Machines & Masks.

What are the complications of some of the snoring solutions?

Similar to most interventions in the medical field, there are risks and potential complications with dental sleep and snoring treatments.

With most snoring devices that move the jaw forward by anchoring the teeth, there is a risk that the teeth will shift from their original position. Because of the traction that is placed on the teeth for 8 hours each night, there is a tendency for the teeth to follow the direction of the stress. This can cause teeth and bite alignment issues. The mandible and maxilla often feel misaligned in the morning. This is often most noticeable upon waking. When trying to eat breakfast, the teeth might not feel like they fit together like they did several hours prior. This often improves as the days continue.

Conclusion

There isn’t one specific snoring device that is perfect for everyone. There are advantages and disadvantages to many of these devices because they all are so different. Often, trying one for comfort and efficacy is required to determine which anti-snoring mouthpiece is best for you. Read more about anti-snoring mouth guards, snoring devices, and mouth pieces  in this blog post.


References:

Oral Appliances in Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Treating OSA: Current and emerging therapies beyond CPAP.

15 thoughts on “Best Anti-Snoring Mouth Guards, Mouthpieces, and Snoring Devices

  1. Anonymous Reply

    I have tried a variety of these devices. Nearly all worked for a while, but none has worked for very long–my snoring eventually finds a way around it. The boil-and-bite variety also worry me because of the pressure on my teeth. Both styles are equally effective as a prevention of grinding–you can’t grind your teeth when your tongue is pulled forward through them.

  2. Trish Reply

    My husband has been using SnoreRX for the last 5 years. It works! It’s adjustable and cost $99. He is a retired dentist/oral surgeon. It’s not hard to adjust..took him a few try’s to fit. Check the SnoreRX.com website to answer questions that may pertain to you. IT REALLY WORKS.

  3. Abe A Reply

    The Zyppah is the only one with the tongue strap. Does any one have this snoring device and does the strap keep you from snoring?

    • Yirsin Reply

      Yes, Zyppah has the tongue thingy. I would also like to know if you can swallow with it. Does the strap keep you from swallowing?

  4. T Blevins Reply

    Do not order from Zen Sleep. I bought the device and it was very uncomfortable so I gave it about 4 nights but I was unable to fall asleep with it. I then tried to return it but they make you get an RMA number and they don’t answer there phone or return messages left. They also have an auto response on the email and never send you the RMA number to return the funds. False advertising. Scam company.

  5. Anon Reply

    I have found that the stop snore guards are pretty useful. I have played around with a few of them. The boil and bite devices are certainly more custom and fit your mouth better. I don’t know if they yield a better result, but it seems like they would be more comfortable. IMHO, the colors of some of the snoring mouthpieces are a little off-putting (just make them all clear or white!).

  6. Sam B Reply

    I have used one of those snoring mouthpieces in the past. It worked for a few years stopping my snoring. And then my snoring came back. (I also gained some weight which probably made a difference.)
    You should find one that is adjustable so that you can move the jaw forward and adjust it when you snore.

  7. Mark Goldstein Reply

    I need a tightening tool for a dental device and the practice that fitted it is closed. This is the small rodlike tool that you put in the holes and turn to adjust the bats that hold the top and bottom together. I’d there a way to purchase one? I don’t see any brand markings.

    • Anonymous Reply

      My dentist molded me a custom two piece snore guard with adjustable lower jaw abilities. Used it about a year now. Showing some stress cracks. He also molded me a piece of plastic for my original bite, as I’m supposed to wear it about 20 minutes every morning to help my jaw adjust back to normal. It definitely helps me sleep at night. Will get another soon. I also didn’t pay for it because wife works there. She said they are expensive.

  8. Marilyn Reply

    If I mold a mouthpiece to fit my teeth to keep from grinding teeth an biting my tounge, could it also help with my snoring?

  9. Kathy Revill Reply

    I am thinking seriously about the oral appliance for sleep apnea. I have moderate apnea and cannot tolerate the CPAP. I am worried about the jaw/teeth alignment after wearing the appliance at night. Is there something that you can wear in the morning that will move the jaw and bite back into place?

  10. Michelle Weaver Reply

    I wear a mouthpiece to prevent grinding. I have recently started snoring. I do have diagnosed mild sleep apnea also. .I wondered if there is a combination mouthpiece for me?

    • Ronald Natalie Reply

      I have a night guard for grinding as well. I suspect any of the ones that look like “mount protectors” (rather than the tongue units) will be more that sufficient to keep you from grinding. The biggest problem over your nite guard is that these are usually thicker and likely to be less confortable than your guard if you have one that a dentist made from a mold.

  11. Judith chambers Reply

    Do you have a device that works with braces? I have been in them for almost 6 years, but I can’t wear the more common devices.

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