Anyone that has had an issue with snoring (either themselves or a family member) can confirm that you’re often willing to try anything to make it stop. However, it is important to look at the safety of one of the most popular anti-snoring devices and snoring remedies before you try anything new.
First, why are you snoring?
A lot of the safeties of mouthguards are related to the reasons why you or a loved one is snoring in the first place. While some people do snore without an underlying medical condition, a large percentage of people snore as a symptom of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is an extremely common medical condition that shows up by creating pauses or lapses of breathing during sleep. Without breathing, no oxygen is able to enter the bloodstream. This leads to an excess of carbon dioxide, which signals the body to wake up. As soon as the body wakes up, oxygen returns to the bloodstream and causes the body to return to normal breathing. Many times, the person affected is unaware that they woke up.
Some common symptoms of sleep apnea are snoring, impaired alertness, slower reaction times, vision problems, and Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS). However, the best way to diagnose sleep apnea is to leave it to the medical professionals. There are two different types of sleep apnea (Central Sleep and Obstructive Sleep) that require different types of management and treatment. Sometimes a CPAP will be necessary. This is why it’s important to never self diagnose.
Can mouthguards help with snoring?
If your snoring is related to sleep apnea, you should not expect a mouthguard to help. Mouthguards are generally designed to work for people who snore without underlying conditions. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t work, but they aren’t specifically designed for people with sleep apnea.
Are mouthguards dangerous?
As mouthguards are classified as a Class II medical device (this is a classification by the FDA that means it requires a prescription as medical advice is necessary to proper use), there is always potential risk of harm. Some of the potential risks include pain in the teeth and gums (usually a problem when it has not been fitted by a medical professional), change of bite (usually the lower teeth are pushed slightly forward), temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ), and sleep bruxism (grinding your teeth in your sleep, which can lead to further TMJ). The majority of these risks can be minimized by having your mouthguard fitted by a medical professional. As there are 100+ mouthguards out there, it is essential to find the one that works best for you.
When it comes to selecting a snoring mouthpiece, it is very important to seek the advice of a medical professional. Snoring aids can be incredibly helpful given the right fit, and potentially dangerous/harmful to your bite, teeth, and jaw if improperly fit without the advice of a medical professional. Please seek medical advice when selecting a snoring aid.