How do snoring mouthpieces work?
With so many devices that claim to stop snoring on the market today, you may find yourself struggling with how to pick one that’s really going to quiet your night’s sleep. Stop snoring mouthpieces differ from throat sprays, nasal strips, and other options because they target the primary area where snoring takes place — your throat.
Snoring is caused by the soft tissue in the back of your throat vibrating. The vibration occurs when the tissue relaxes and narrowing of the airway creates turbulence. The result, that all-too-familiar unpleasant sound — snoring. Mouthpieces address this specific issue by expanding your airway to prevent the tissue from collapsing into the back of your throat where it interferes with normal airflow.
Positioning the jaw
A true stop-snoring mouthpiece is composed of two, connected pieces, one that fits onto your top teeth and one on the bottom. Mouthpieces that claim to stop snoring, but only cover your top teeth won’t be effective.
How these two pieces are connected can vary, but a hinged design allows you to have the most mobility while wearing the mouthpiece. Once in place, the mouthpiece slightly advances your lower jaw. This repositioning widens your airway and also prevents your tongue from slipping backward, all of which reduces the vibration of the soft tissue in your throat.
Based on the specifics of the design, an anti-snoring mouthpiece works by either pulling or applying pressure to the jaw. A pulling mouthpiece typically has an elastic strap or plastic spacers which connect the top and bottom pieces. This creates ongoing tension to keep your jaw in place but doesn’t allow for much flexibility when it comes to opening and closing your mouth while using the device. Mouthpieces that use pressure to adjust the jaw do so with a tight screw or plug connecting the two halves of the device. This puts the lower jaw into a more fixed and stable position.
User-friendly mouthpiece features
While most stop snoring mouthpieces function the same way, not all are designed for optimal comfort. It’s important to know what features can help make the mouthpiece work best in addition to how the device itself stops snoring. When investigating mouthpieces, make sure to take note of:
- Overall bulkiness of the mouthpiece – a device made from thinner material will take up less space in your mouth and could have a more comfortable fit.
Ease of breathing – while the device is in, you shouldn’t struggle to breathe. All mouthpieces have an opening in the center, where the two halves meet, and it should be large enough so that you feel like you’re getting enough air when you inhale.
- Flexibility of motion — while some anti-snoring mouthpieces lock your jaw into place, others, like ZQuiet, enables you to open and close your mouth and even shift your jaw from side-to-side while the device is being worn. This flexibility can improve comfort by allowing natural movements and decreasing the likelihood of stiffness.
Still, have more questions about stop snoring mouthpieces? Our thorough list of Frequently Asked Questions can help you find the information you need to make an informed choice on which stop-snoring mouthpiece is right for you.