Do Snoring Mouthpieces Actually Work?

The question often arises if a snoring mouthpiece will actually reduce or eliminate one’s snoring. Although everybody is different and product design varies, there is a snoring mouthpiece that will fit your individual needs in regards to snoring reduction and cost. Mouthpieces have been effective for many snorers, including those suffering from mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine has recently recognized mouthpieces as an effective treatment for snoring issues. Most people who have used snoring mouthpieces experience only mild side effects such as dry mouth, possible tooth discomfort or even excessive salivation. Most snorers and their partners agree that the mild side effects are often outweighed by the benefits of a sound sleep at night.

How do they work?

The mouthpieces are usually small plastic devices worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft throat tissues from collapsing and obstructing the airway. They do this by bringing your lower jaw forward and/or by lifting your soft palate and some devices also stop the tongue from falling back over your windpipe. By bringing the jaw forward and lifting the soft palate is what eliminates the physical obstruction of air flow through the mouth and nose that causes snoring.

Before Snoring Mouthpiece

After Snoring Mouthpiece

By using a snoring mouthpiece, air flow through the mouth and nose can be passed through freely. Using a snoring mouthpiece can correct of fix most of the main causes of snoring listed below:

  • Obstructed nasal airways: Partially blocked nasal passages require extra effort to transfer air through them while sleeping. This can pull together or collapse the non-rigid soft and dangling tissue of the throat, resulting in snoring. Some people snore only during allergy seasons or when they have a sinus infection. Deformities of the nose such as a deviated septum (a “crooked” wall that separates one nostril from the other) or nasal polyps can also cause obstruction and sleep problems.
  • Poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue: Throat and tongue muscles can be too relaxed, which allows them to collapse and fall back into the airway. This can result from deep sleep, alcohol, and some sleeping pills. Normal aging causes further relaxation of these muscles and increases the potential for snoring.
  • Bulky throat tissue: Being overweight can cause bulky throat tissue. Also, children with large tonsils and adenoids often snore.
  • Long soft palate and/or uvula: One of the most common causes of snoring, a long soft palate or uvula (the dangling tissue in back of the mouth) can block the opening at the back of the throat. When these structures vibrate and bump against one another during sleep, the airway becomes obstructed and causes snoring.