For anybody looking into getting an oral appliance to stop snoring, how it feels in your mouth is an important consideration.
I remember that first time I decided to seek this kind of solution to my snoring and thinking “what is this thing going to be like in my mouth?”
This consideration is completely rational. After all, what use is a device to prevent snoring if you can’t sleep with it in your mouth?
After much deliberation, I succumbed to my desire to stop snoring and ordered a mouthpiece.
Getting the Device
The first device I decided to try was a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) type mouthguard.
It operates on the principal of advancing your lower jaw forward in order to tighten the muscles at the back of your throat. By tightening the muscles, slack is reduced and thus soft tissues cannot vibrate off each other causing snoring sounds.
Upon opening the box, the device looked pretty much exactly how it did from the pictures online. For anybody who has used a sports guard before, it basically looked like one of them with the only difference being that it covered both the top and bottom sets of teeth.
Before fitting it properly using the boil and bite method, I decided to put it into my mouth to see how it would feel. When I placed it inside, it felt very big.
I began to wonder how I was going to be able to sleep with such a device inside my mouth. It left a gap between my upper and lower teeth of at least half an inch, maybe more. In order to try to get an idea of what this means, close your eyes and open your mouth open half an inch. It was not a normal sensation. How was I going to sleep with this thing?
I decided to start the fitting process as I figured that things could only get better from here. I boiled water in a cup and prepared to immerse the device. Something small to note here is to remember to have a fork or something to remove the mouth guard or you’ll end up burning yourself like I did!
Upon removing the mouthpiece from the boiling water, I allowed it to cool for a few seconds before putting it into my mouth, biting down and pushing my lower jaw forward slightly. It’s a strange sensation when you bite down on the hot plastic.
You feel the appliance start to take shape around your teeth. You may need to manipulate some of the outer parts of the plastic with your finger to ensure it covers your teeth and gums and fits as snug as possible.
Upon finishing the fitting process, it was easy to see that the product had fit a lot better than I had initially anticipated. The gap between my upper and lower sets of teeth was significantly reduced but the device was definitely still noticeable in my mouth. It was time to put the mouthpiece to the test.
The first night, it took me a lot longer to get to sleep than it usually did. I guess this could be put down to the anticipation and the sheer desire to get to sleep to see if it worked but I also put it down to the presence of a foreign object in my mouth.
Eventually however, I did fall asleep. Upon waking up the following morning I couldn’t help but notice a small puddle of drool on my pillow coupled with slight muscle pain in my jaw beside my ear. I was slightly put off initially by this experience. This initial hesitation was soon overshadowed by my partner’s delight that I hadn’t been snoring at all the night before. The device was working. I did a quick look online and found that the drool and muscle pain were common at the start and would soon go away.
I continued to use the product the following nights. I found that after a couple of days the drooling stopped and after a little longer, any pain in my jaw muscles was completely gone. I was delighted that I had found a solution to my snoring problem and so was my partner.
I began to think about all the other products I had seen online and started to wonder about whether or not I could find one that was more comfortable. I had been conservative with my spending initially as I tentatively purchased my first device, unsure whether or not it would even work. Upon discovering that it worked, I set out to find a more comfortable device.
More Comfortable Devices
After trawling through the Internet for a number of hours, I stumbled across two different types of devices.
One was an MAD type device as well with the one difference in design being that it was hinged at the back. The first MAD I tried was a single piece and wasn’t hinged.
The second oral appliance I learned of was a “Tongue Stabilizing Device” (TSD). I figured that I had already experimented with the one-piece MAD type device and so why not see if others are more comfortable.
The hinged MAD that I purchased was the ZQuiet. Upon opening the box and taking out the device, there were a few things that struck me immediately. The first was the size. Both the upper and lower teeth trays were much thinner than those on the one-piece mouthguard.
The second was the hinge, which seemed to allow you to be able to almost completely close your mouth and the third was that it could be used straight out of the box (there was no boil & bite custom fitting required).
I tried on the ZQuiet and straight away I noticed a difference. The first thing was that it was less intrusive on my mouth because of its size. The second was that I could almost completely close my mouth, which felt a lot more natural. The last was that it didn’t feel like it was stuck to my teeth because it wasn’t custom fitted, it was loose on my teeth.
In comparison to the one-piece MAD, the ZQuiet was significantly more comfortable. It still took my a few days to overcome the drooling and muscle pain but as I discovered, this is a common trait among all oral appliances to stop snoring.
Read a full review of the ZQuiet.
Good Morning Snore Solution
The Good Morning Snore Solution (GMSS) was the second alternative mouthguard that I tried. As mentioned above, the GMSS is a TSD type device. This means that it operates by holding the tongue forward in the mouth to limit gravity pulling the tongue back in the throat and stops the soft tissue in the back of the tongue from vibrating against the throat muscle tissue. This eliminates snoring.
At first glance, the GMSS looked like a pacifier. I opened the box and was eager to try. Upon reading the instructions, I opened my mouth, stuck out my tongue, squeezed the air bubble to let out all the air, inserted my tongue and let go of the air bubble. It was as simple as that. After letting go, suction was created which kept the tip of my tongue sticking out the front of my mouth and into the air bubble.
I must admit that it was a strange sensation at the start. After the first night, the tip of my tongue felt a little ‘tingly’ but this went away after a few days. After this, I found this an extremely comfortable device to use.
Read a full review of the GMSS.
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.