Notwithstanding the potential health risks of snoring, this condition also affects relationships, specifically, marriages.
While others may think it’s trivial, snoring has been shown to be the third cause of marriages ending in divorce in the U.S., U.K., Canada and the Australia as well. It is also included in the list of “unreasonable behaviour” that ultimately leads to divorce.
Understanding How It Occurs
Most people don’t know why snoring occurs. The sound is caused by a vibration in a small tissue called the uvula which sits at the back of the mouth. It causes an obstruction to the airway whenever it comes in contact with the throat’s tissue.
Other causes of snoring include excessive consumption of alcohol, a deviated septum, being extremely overweight or obese, nasal polyps, being in a state of deep sleep, and enlarged tonsils. Whatever the cause, however, there is now a wide array of anti-snoring devices available for those who have been snoring for the longest time and for those who only recently found out that they snore.
The Possible Solutions
Snoring mouthpieces have two categories: the tongue retaining device or TRD and the mandibular advancement device or MAD. Additionally, there are anti-snoring pillows and snoring chinstraps that some people actually prefer. This article can help you make an informed decision as to which anti-snoring device is the most suitable for your particular condition.
Mandibular Advancement Device
Mouthpieces have proven to be effective as shown in several studies in 2005 when 20 test subjects, all heavy snorers, were given a fabricated, low-cost mandibular advancement device (MAD) for snoring as well as for mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea. There are several differences between MAD and TRD, however, which you should know about. Let’s take a look at MAD first.
By holding the jaw in a regular forward position, a MAD prevents the jaw from falling into a backward position while the person sleeps. Most people don’t realize how gravity weighs down the body even while a person sleeps. Gravity causes even the tongue to fall back, and if it does in the slightest way possible, an airway obstruction can occur.
The MAD ensures that gravity can’t affect your jaw’s forward position since the muscles and tissues in the airway’s upper portion remain tightened, making it seem like the person is awake. A MAD keeps the airway free of any obstruction this way. There are several pros and cons to using a MAD, however, which you should be aware of before purchasing one.
It works, that’s for sure, as shown by numerous clinical tests that showed significant reduction or total elimination of snoring.
- A MAD is readily available, reasonably priced, and can be used in the privacy of your home.
- Some of these mouthpieces now include a breathing hole located in front for snorers who are nasal and mouth breathers as well.
- Availability of MADs come in customized, standard, and adjustable types to suit a wider range of particular preferencesand needs.
- Good brands will typically be manufactured from BPA-free materials and have U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
- MADs are suitable for snorers who have naturally low or slightly receded jaw bones.
- The majority of MADs tends to cover a larger extent of the gums as well as the mouth and may cause possible irritation in these areas.
- The jaw’s forward position for an extended period of time can lead to facial pain, bite misalignment, and other long-terms problems with the jaw.
- Most MADs become extremely rigid and disallows any movement from the user as soon as they are attached.
- Those who wear dentures can’t use MADs.
- MADs wear out faster than TSDs because of the amount of wear and tear they undergo from grinding of the teeth when eating.
- Most people find MADs uncomfortable to wear because of their bulky construction.
Tongue Retaining Device
Tongue Retaining Device (TRD) have not been in circulation as long as MADs, hence, they don’t aren’t nearly as popular as their MAD cousins, yet they are as effective as MADs, if not better. A TRD holds the jaw forward by holding the tongue, not the jaw itself, in a forward position. No pressure is ever applied to the jaw, therefore there are virtually no safety risks.
Because some snore only because their tongues block their airways as they sleep, the TRD’s small suction component can firmly yet gently hold onto the tongue to keep it in place. By holding your tongue forward, the TRD ensures that your airway is open throughout the night to allow sufficient oxygen to be transported to your body. Here are the pros and cons of using a TRD:
- It works and has undergone more extensive clinical trials than some MADs. The TRD has been shown to perform a majority of MADs currently available on the market.
- A TRD is effective for people who snore because their tongues and the inner tissues of their mouths restrict air passage.
- It’s small size makes it less bulky than a MAD and therefore more comfortable to wear during sleep.
- Unlike MADs, TRDs are recommended to use for treatment of mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea.
- The TRD is approved by the U.S. FDA and is registered as a Class II device.
- Cases of gum irritation are less with a TRD because it sits only at the front of the mouth between the lips and front teeth of the user. Additionally, TRDs are suitable for those who wear dentures.
- Unlike MADs which may cause bite misalignment, jaw pain, and other facial pain, TRDs have none of these potentials.
- TRDs are longer lasting than MADs by one to two years since they don’t come into contact with the mouth’s wear and tear points like the teeth.
- There is no feeling of rigidity from TRDs. They also stay in place because of their firm yet gentle structural hold on the tongue.
- A TRD will require the user to breathe through his/her nose.
- Inappropriate to use by those with jaw bones which have been significantly reduced or have lower jaw bones that are set too far back.
- There will be extra build up of saliva for the first few nights of wearing a TRD.
Manufacturers of anti-snoring pillows claim that these are supposed to work for as long as the user sleeps on his/her side. The posture that a person has in bed is what makes him/her snore, according to these manufacturers, a fact that remains arguable because most people say that even without an anti-snoring pillow, sleeping on one’s side eliminates snoring, period.
Are there any pros and cons to anti-snoring pillows? Frankly, there aren’t many anti-snoring pillows available on the market and based on numerous customer reviews, very few who bought these pillows did not have their snoring stopped. In fact, there seems to be no confirmed pros for these pillows except for the official websites of the manufacturers, albeit there many cons for them.
One prevalent con is the chemical smell that emanates from the pillow which, based on customer reviews, can’t be eliminated by anything. Another con is the price of these pillows that can go anywhere from $50 to $100 a piece. Most people have described the anti-snoring pillow in four words: expensive but useless garbage.
The anti snoring chin strap is one of the least expensive and the easiest anti-snoring devices that you can use. The device consists of a cup made of fabric which provides chin support with straps that go around the top of the user’s head and up the sides of his/her face like a sling. It holds the jaw in place and keeps the mouth closed by holding the jaw in a forward position.
Here are its pros and cons:
- The most affordable anti-snoring device in its class.
- No side effects to date have been reported from the use of a chinstrap.
- It is a non-invasive device since the user is not required to put it in his/her mouth for it to be effective.
- The chinstrap is not recommended for use by those with sleep apnea since this device can further oxygen levels and cause inadequate oxygen supply to the body.
- It can only be purchased from websites as of this writing.
- This device is not suitable for people who have nasal blockage issues such as nasal congestion.
Nasal Dilators and Nasal Strips
Fortunately for those who have nasal congestion, nasal dilators are available to stop snoring. Made from plastic or metal, a nasal dilator looks like a nose ring that is clamped between the nostrils at bedtime. The dilator keeps the user’s nostrils apart when he/she sleeps to relieve nasal congestion that causes snoring. Nasal strips are also available and serve the same purpose as the dilators.
These strips are placed outside the nose and keep nostrils apart to keep them from narrowing and constricting nasal passages when deep sleep occurs. Although the most convenient forms of anti-snoring devices, you should be aware of the pros and cons of both nasal dilators and nasal strips.