What is the difference between an anti-snoring mouthpiece and a dental guard?
The most significant difference between the two is their treatment purpose. One is used to improve snoring problems, and the other protects teeth from harmful teeth grinding. Therefore, the treatment principles of the two are entirely different.
An anti-snoring mouthpiece aims to open your airway by pushing your jaw forward, reducing the chance of soft tissue of the throat vibrating, thereby improving your snoring problem. The dental guard is designed to wrap around your teeth to avoid damage caused by long-term friction between the upper and lower teeth.
Dental guards' primary function is only to protect your teeth and cannot improve your snoring problem. If you have both snoring and teeth grinding, you can choose an anti-snoring mouthpiece, but take note that the mouthpiece may more easily become deformed and be subject to extra wear and tear. Hence due to your grinding problem, you may need to change your mouthpiece more frequently compared with people without bruxism to get the best treatment result.
What is the difference between a custom-fit dentist mold and an anti-snoring mouthpiece that is readily available on the market?
A custom-fit dentist mold is made according to your teeth, and the dentist will monitor your treatment regularly. During follow up visits, the dentist may re-mold the device according to your snoring condition. Changing the size of the molds can gradually improve your snoring. Therefore, custom-fit dentist molds may fit your teeth better, but the price is generally higher than prefabricated anti-snoring mouthpieces on the market.
Users who are new to anti-snoring devices may wish to try and consider ready-made anti-snoring mouthpieces. They can immediately experience the feeling of using an anti-snoring mouthpiece at a reasonable price before deciding on a dentist's custom-fit mold.
Some pre-molded mouthpiece brands have multiple size options, so customers can gradually adapt to the forward adjustment of the jaw to improve snoring. The snoring may not reduce instantly, but your snoring therapy will be more comfortable. On the contrary, a custom-fit mold by the dentist is generally only one size, but it will maximize the reduction of snoring. However, the intensity that the jaw and teeth being pushed forward may be higher.
When purchasing ready-made mouthpieces, pay attention to the materials used and verify its safety. It is recommended not to buy products containing latex and Bisphenol A. Latex can cause allergies whilst the body may absorb Bisphenol A through prolonged contact leading to health problems.
Can anti-snoring mouthpieces improve sleep apnea?
The concept of anti-snoring mouthpieces reducing snoring is roughly the same as that of improving sleep apnea. Since the narrowing of the airway may cause both snoring and sleep apnea, by adjusting the jaw forward the airway should open and in theory improve both problems.
However, according to the American Thoracic Society (ATS), CPAP therapy usually yields a faster and more effective result, regardless of how severe the sleep apnea is. They also state CPAP therapy is the ideal therapy option for patients who concurrently have severe heart disease. If a patient cannot become accustomed to CPAP therapy, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea to consider mouthpiece or positional therapy (side sleeping). This is what as the American Thoracic Society mentions "Any treatment is better than none at all".
According to international studies, mouthpieces can only partially alleviate the apnea and cannot fully control it when compared with CPAP. The therapeutic outcome of mouthpieces may only achieve half at most of CPAP, and the effectiveness depends on how much the lower jaw is adjusted forward.
Finally, sleep apnea can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. If you suspect that you are suffering from sleep apnea, you should visit and consult a doctor as soon as possible. Request for a professional sleep test, and understand suitable and remedial therapy plans available.
Will the anti-snoring snoring mouthpiece move or change the position of my teeth?
Oral Appliance Therapy pushes forward the lower jaw by using the mouthpiece which is aligned with the teeth of the patients. This opens the airway, so it becomes less congested and improves the snoring problem. During your sleep, the teeth are pushed forward all night, causing an impression that the teeth and jaw have been displaced. This sensation is similar to wearing orthodontic braces and is a frequent feeling during Oral Appliance Therapy. The feeling is most apparent immediately after waking up, and may get stronger during breakfast time that the top and bottom teeth do not feel aligned. However, in most cases, the sensation may gradually diminish. This may explain why it is necessary to wear orthodontic braces all day during treatment instead of just a few hours a day. If you still have any doubts, please consult your dentist for professional advice before use.
Is drooling a common behaviour when using anti-snoring mouthpiece?
Salivation is a natural phenomenon. It is our body's natural response to foreign objects in our mouths. After wearing the mouthpiece, the body detects that swallowing becomes abnormal and secretes even more saliva. Hence, some drooling may be experienced. From our experience, most users' excessive salivation problems are very short-lived and will generally dissipate within a few days or weeks (after time to adapt).
Is it normal to experience jaw soreness and discomfort during or after using an anti-snoring mouthpiece?
Since the oral appliance therapy borrows the use of jaw muscles, you may experience slight jaw discomfort after using an anti-snoring mouthpiece. The scenario is similar to doing a new exercise, and muscles get fatigued after working out. The muscles then become temporarily sore after the training. From our experience, the discomfort and symptoms of most users gradually disappear and lasts no more than two hours. If jaw discomfort persists, stop using the mouthpiece immediately and consult a dentist or doctor for professional advice as soon as possible.
What if the anti-snoring mouthpiece does not improve my snoring?
In addition to the narrowing of the airway that cases and the vibration of the soft tissues of the throat, snoring may also be caused by nasal structure abnormalities (for example a curved nasal septum) or nasal congestion. If it is the former, and snoring does not improve after using an anti-snoring mouthpiece, you can consider positional therapy (such as using a side sleeping pillow). If it is the latter, nasal cavity structure problems may require surgery. If it is nasal congestion problems, you can consider using a nasal dilator, nasal spray, or medicine. In addition, if allergies cause your nasal congestion, you should eliminate the root cause of the problem by reducing the allergen exposure hence improving the snoring problem.
How do I know if my snoring has improved?
The easiest option is through observation by your partner or family member. You can also compare the difference before and after using a recorder. There are some free mobile apps on the market that can record your snoring situation. If you want a more professional in-depth analysis of your snoring problem and review the effectiveness of treatment, there are testing devices on the market. They can provide objective data, including the snoring pitch, frequency, and likelihood under different sleeping positions.
How does an anti-snoring mouthpiece reduce snoring?
Snoring is caused by the soft tissues of the tongue and throat relaxing during sleep. The tissue collapses down due to gravity, making the airway become blocked and narrower. As we breathe, the air passes through the narrowed respiratory tract and the muscles or tissue near the throat vibrate due to the airflow. The vibration causes the loud snoring sound.
The fundamental concept of the anti-snoring mouthpiece is to open the airway by slightly pushing the jaw forward. At the same time, the tongue is fixed into a position that does not block the airway. These factors reverse the narrowing of the airway and reduce the soft throat tissue from vibrating, thereby alleviating your snoring problem.
Are anti-snoring mouthpieces suitable for everyone?
Anti-snoring mouthpieces are not suitable for those who has been diagnosed with Central Sleep Apnea, severe respiratory disorders, Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD), experience clicking of the jaw and/or have pain in the jaw joints, have loose teeth, seriously misaligned teeth, orthodontia, full dentures or advanced periodontal disease. If you are considering a custom-fit dentist mouthpiece and have above respiratory complications, please check with your dentist first.
Do anti-snoring mouthpieces need regular replacement?
Most custom-molded or pre-molded mouthpieces in stores need to be replaced regularly, similar to a toothbrush. We recommend replacing mouthpieces at least every six months (6 months). If you have further problems such as sleep bruxism, this will accelerate the deformation, and hence the frequency of replacements may be more.