How Does an Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece Work?
As far as anti-snoring device go, mouthpieces are one of the most popular options. Today we are going to examine exactly how does an anti-snoring mouthpiece work.
Do you suffer from snoring? You’re not alone.
Snoring affects millions of people across the world, and many of them aren’t even aware they have a problem unless they’ve been told. While those who sleep alone may be oblivious to their problem, they may be unknowingly suffering from interrupted sleep that will cause fatigue during the day.
For those who share a bed with a snorer, it can cause many a sleepless night.
However today there are products that can help curb irritating snoring, and among those are anti-snoring mouthpieces.
Curious? If you’re wondering ‘how does an anti-snoring mouthpiece work?’, read on learn more.
How Do We Snore?
First of all, it’s important to understand how snoring occurs.
When we sleep, the throat muscles relax along with the rest of the body. For some, this means these muscles block the air passage.
The tissues behind the throat then vibrate, resulting in that all-too-familiar wheezy snoring sound. The narrower the airway, the more intense and annoying the snore becomes.
When a person is asleep and snoring, he or she has no idea they’re snoring. However, they may at times wake up during the night with an uncomfortable shortness of breath and a dry throat. This may be because snorers tend to sleep with their mouths wide open.
Constantly waking up during the night leads to interrupted sleep resulting in daytime fatigue and sleepiness – not ideal.
How Does an Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece Work?
An anti-snoring mouthpiece is otherwise known as a ‘mandibular advancement device’. These devices are designed by dentists to control the position of the mouth during sleep.
This name is simply a posh way of explaining that the device is designed to bring and hold the bottom jaw forward. So, these mouthpieces work best for those whose jaw structure is the predominant factor in a chronic snoring problem.
A snoring mouthpiece can be fitted by a dentist or in the privacy of your own home. As mentioned, they aim to combat snoring by moving the lower jaw forward to allow for an open airway during sleep. The jaw is then stabilized and the tongue depressed so it doesn’t fall back to the throat to block breathing.
As a result, the unrestricted airflow prevents the tissue vibration noises and results in the quiet night’s sleep that everyone hopes for!
When used correctly and consistently, a stop snoring mouthpiece improves the breathing for its user and reduces those annoying snoring sounds. This promotes a better night’s sleep (for everyone!) and eliminates daytime fatigue and decreased energy levels.
It really works, too. Medical studies have reported a significant improvement in the respiratory function and sleep quality for chronic snorers who have used anti-snoring mouthpieces. This is regardless of the severity of their condition.
Wearing an anti-snoring mouthpiece also helps with teeth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism. This is the process whereby someone unconsciously presses or grinds their upper and lower jaw together. It’s common behavior during sleep and just like snoring, many sufferers are unaware of it.
A snoring mouthpiece is effective in preventing teeth grinding, as it prevents the teeth from touching each other when they try to clash. It works as a protective barrier between the upper and lower jaw.
How to Fit a Snoring Mouthpiece
For a perfect match, a snoring mouthpiece must fit the shape of your teeth by making an impression of them. There are two ways to do that.
The first is the boil and bite method. With this easy technique, the customer completes their own fitting at home.
While instructions for models can vary, the boil and bite method usually follows a similar format.
First, the snoring mouthpiece is warmed up in hot water until the material becomes flexible and waxy. The mouthpiece is then placed into the mouth and the customer must bite hard.
They must then wait a few seconds for the material to harden again.
This creates an impression of the teeth and guarantees that the mouthpiece will fit the individual comfortably. Afterward, the mouthpiece is rinsed with chilled water and is ready for use.
A great advantage is that the boil and bite method allows for the device to be fitted numerous times. This is useful if the position of the teeth shifts. Likewise, boil and bite mouthpieces are an affordable option for those on a budget.
Depending on the manufacturer, each mouthpiece can last from between 18 to 24 months, which is ample time. Eventually, the soft synthetics of the mouthpieces will wear out and it will need to be replaced.
The second option is a custom-fit mouthpiece created by a dentist.
Although custom-fit mouthpieces can match your teeth more accurately than a boil and bite device, they’re considerably more expensive and lack flexibility. If the position of your teeth shifts, a new mouthpiece would be required.
In some cases, customers have claimed that due to the precise and tight fit, they’re actually more uncomfortable to wear than a boil and bite device. This is because they’re too restrictive.
Features of an Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece
The features of an anti-snoring mouthpiece will depend on the make and model, but the options from Vitalsleep include the following:
1. Fully Adjustable Fit
Some customers may require more extension than others so the lower jaw positioning can adjust up to 8mm to work with the individual’s snoring needs.
2. Custom Teeth Impressions
As mentioned, boil and bite devices create a personalized, comfortable fit to work with any individual.
3. Male and Female Sizes
We all know that men and women tend to have different sized mouths, and they have taken this on into account. Offering a woman’s size that is a nifty 10 percent smaller than the mens size to guarantee a comfortable fit.
4. Safe and Effective
These mouthpieces are FDA-cleared to treat the root cause of snoring for improved breathing and healthier sleep as safely and as effectively as possible.
Getting Used to Wearing an Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece
While anti-snoring mouthpieces offer a wealth of benefits to their users, it can take a while to get used to wearing them.
Some customers may have some initial troubles fitting their mouthpieces to work with their teeth. In cases like these, the best idea is to keep remolding with the boil and bite method until it fits comfortably. It may take some time, but you want to get it right!
Likewise, it may first feel strange wearing an anti-snoring mouthpiece at night. It may cause the production of extra saliva until you get accustomed to wearing it. It’s always recommended that you stay persistent until it feels more comfortable, otherwise it might be best to discuss other options with a dentist.
While anti-snoring mouthpieces usually work for people who have an overbite, for those that suffer from a severe overbite may find that mouthpieces are not be suitable. This is usually because the bands are too short.
Extreme teeth grinders need to be careful too. Although the anti-snoring mouthpiece works great at preventing teeth grinding during the night if the user is too aggressive, over time it can be bitten through! Under such strain, in cases like these, a snoring mouthpiece won’t reach its typical life span of between 18 to 24 months and will need to be replaced sooner.
Looking After Your Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece
Now that we’ve answered, ‘how does an anti-snoring mouthpiece work?’, it’s time to choose your anti-snoring mouthpiece so you can get on with a happy snore-free life!
It’s recommended that you wear the mouthpiece every day for lasting therapeutic success. This means that you also need to maintain a high standard of oral hygiene.
Leftover food and small particles that remain in the mouth overnight after a lack of tooth brushing make for a haven for oral flora bacteria. Additionally, if they’re pressed against the teeth by the snoring mouth guard, the bacteria will flourish in such conditions. Over time, this will damage the teeth and lead to pesky tooth decay.
In order to avoid such problems, snoring mouthpieces should be cleaned daily in the morning after use and placed in a cool and dry spot for the rest of the day.
For cleaning, there are plenty of options. Look for cleansing gels, rinses, cleaning brushes, and special tablets that work to clean snoring mouthpieces.
For more tips on how to keep your snoring mouthpiece clean, check out our article ‘Keeping It Clean: How to Clean Your Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece’.
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