A snoring mouthpiece might just be one of the most effective ways of eliminating the sound of snoring. Sleepless nights as a result of snoring can cause problems in both the snorers’ lives and the lives of those around them.
But where does one acquire an oral device to stop snoring? The first logical place to look is in their local pharmacies, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Target etc.
Unfortunately, if you go you searching for a stop snoring mouthpiece in one of these stores, you will not find one. If you do find one, it more than likely isn’t a stop snoring mouthpiece. You will find products known as sports guards and nightguards.
To the inexperienced user, these will appear to be virtually identical to the anti-snoring mouthpieces and you may even find that shop assistants insist they’re the same. The important thing to note is that they’re not because they operate in fundamentally different ways.
Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece vs. Nightguard vs. Sports guards
So, are they the same? To put it simply, no they’re not. Nightguards are designed to prevent the grinding of teeth. Some people suffer from a condition known as bruxism that causes them to grind their teeth and clench their jaw while they sleep.
Over time this condition causes attrition (tooth wear) as a result of the contact between the teeth. As such, a Nightguard prevents the teeth from touching and grinding but does nothing to prevent snoring.
Sports guards are similar to nightguards but are generally slightly thicker as they are designed for use during sports that contain a large amount of physical contact. They protect the teeth during impact collisions in sports such as Rugby, American Football, Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts.
Stop snoring mouthpieces operate in an entirely different manner to those above. Approximately twenty years ago it was discovered that by forcing the lower jaw slightly forward while sleeping, the muscles in the throat tighten slightly allowing the airway to be opened up.
As there is less slack in the tightened muscles, they are not able to vibrate against other muscle tissue, thus eliminating the sounds produced from snoring. These devices that focus on moving the lower jaw forward became known as a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD).
There are some other differences between the devices that can be useful to know:
- Cost – Sports guards or nightguards are generally significantly cheaper than anti-snoring oral appliances. Typically the former come in at approximately $10 and the latter more in the region of +$50.
- FDA – There are no regulations surrounding the distribution of sports guards or nightguards. The same cannot be said for the stop snoring mouthpieces. The Federal Drugs Administration (FDA) classifies devices used to stop snoring as Class II Medical Devices. This means that you need a prescription to acquire one.
- Physical Appearance – Sports guards and nightguards are designed to cover the top set of teeth only. Most devices to stop snoring cover both the top and bottom set of teeth. This is due to the need to advance the lower jaw forward.
Sports guards and nightguards simply do not have the functional capacity to be utilized to stop snoring. They were not designed to stop snoring and so cannot be expected to do so. They lack the ability to advance the lower jaw forward and thus lack the ability to stop snoring.
The only similarity between these oral devices is that they are generally made from the same type of material.
Legality Surrounding The Purchasing of Anti-Snoring Mouthguards
As mentioned above, the FDA has deemed any device that is designed to stop snoring, a Class II Medical Device. This means that to acquire one you need a prescription. Unfortunately, as a result of this, they aren’t readily available in stores around the country.
That said, manufacturers that sell their products directly to the consumers have found legal loopholes that allow them to sell the products without a prescription. These loopholes vary but the most commonly used one is the eligibility form. The eligibility form is a list of questions to determine whether you are eligible to use and purchase a stop snoring mouthpiece.
So Who Sells These Devices?
Due to the restrictions by the FDA, often the only place to buy these products is directly from the manufacturer. This can be done so on the manufacturers website or by phone. While this isn’t the ideal situation, you are guaranteeing that the product that you purchase will do the job that it’s required to do. The same cannot be said when purchasing off online stores such as Ebay.
Online Buy & Sell
Often when you browse through sites that offer products online such as Ebay, you will find oral appliances to stop snoring listed.
Typically they will be listed in the price range of $10 – $15. From experience, these products will turn out to be one of two things:
- The first is that they are plastics that don’t fall into the category of safe thermoplastics. Having different types of plastics in your mouth that aren’t in this category can be harmful because they can release harmful toxins such as BPA. BPA exposure has been linked with an increased risk of cancer, decreased Thyroid function, obesity and neurological problems. Needless to say, this is something that you want to avoid.
- The second is that they can be simply sports guards or nightguards being listed as oral devices to stop snoring. As explained above, these simply will not stop snoring and would be a waste of money.
If you are looking to try an oral mouthguard to stop snoring, a list of the best devices can be found here. You can find links on each of the products to where you can purchase the devices as well as an in-depth analysis on the pros and cons of each product.
Things To Consider Before Purchasing
As with any purchase, there are a certain number of factors that you would want to consider before purchasing an oral appliance to stop snoring. Different characteristics may influence your decision on what one you choose. These are as follows:
Cost – With most products, cost is going to be a factor for consideration. With mouthpieces to stop snoring, you don’t want to cheap-out on this kind of product. The problem with going for the lowest price products is that the product might not actually work. There’s no point spending a small quantity of money to buy a product that doesn’t work only then to go and buy a more expensive product. Look at my list above and see what you can afford and what is also a proven product. Look for value for money; the number one and two on that list are a lot cheaper than some of the alternatives!
Type – Decide on the type of snore solution you want. You can choose a MAD device or a TSD. The TSD products are “Tongue Stabilizing Devices” and work in a different manner to the mouthpieces. Have a think about whether or not you will be comfortable with the mouthpiece in your mouth. Some people are of the opinion that the TSD devices are less intrusive on your mouth.
Breathing – This relates to whether or not you breathe through your mouth when you sleep. If you do, you would be best advised to ensure that the mouthpiece has air holes or a gap between the two sections to allow you to breath. No point in getting a mouthpiece only to not be able to breath when you have it in your mouth!
These factors are important to consider, but like with most products, you wont know what is right for you until you’ve tried it.
What Would I Recommend?
For a first time user, the two that I would personally recommend for use are: the Vitalsleep, which is an MAD product and the Good Morning Snore Solution (GMSS), which is a TSD product.
The GMSS is my personal favorite. It really ticks all the boxes. It’s suitable for people who need to wear dentures, it’s government cleared by the FDA, Health Canada, European Commission and Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, it has had approved clinical trials. It is originally USD $129.94, but you can often catch it on sale for $99.94.
The Vitaleleep is a personal favorite of the MAD variety of oral appliances to stop snoring. It is FDA cleared as a Class II Medical Device, it comes in two different sizes, fully adjustable and it offers full 1-year replacement, including shipping. The price is $59.95 for one device or $99.95 for two devices.
Both of these products would be recommended for anybody looking for their first oral device to stop snoring. Another added benefit to both these products is that they are both latex-free and BPA-free.
Hopefully this has shed some light on topic for those of you who are sufferers of snoring, it’s a condition that nobody really appreciates until they have it but it is not something that you have to live with. There are plenty of products out there that can help you deal with the condition.
Which Product Should I Choose?
Every person has a unique mouth and needs, so one that is perfect for one person may not be the best option for another.
There are well over 100 products on the market, so making a decision can be quite daunting.
You will find a lot of helpful information in the comparison chart, and I have written reviews of several products.
If you would rather not spend a lot of time reading reviews, please consult my article titled “My Mouthpiece Recommendation”. I have compiled a list of three products that I believe are the best options, based on my experience.