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The dangers of using a mouthguard to prevent snoring

Ask your doctor is a mouthpiece for snoring is the right decision

Ask your doctor is a mouthpiece for snoring is the right decision

Before trying something new, any sensible person usually asks whether or not the product in question is safe to use. We obviously don’t want to do anything that would cause our body harm right?

When it comes to snoring mouthguards, there has been quite a bit of buzz surrounding this topic. After all, it wasn’t until recently that you could purchase a MAD or TSD on the internet without ever seeing a doctor. Technically speaking, they are still considered a class II medical device by the FDA and require a prescription to obtain.

It seems as if overnight one DIY product after another began to surface on the internet, all promising you the best night sleep ever. Some devices were developed by actual doctors who specialize in sleep medicine, some by dentist and orthodontist while others were simply inventors looking to capitalize on the latest trend that everyone is talking about. Whatever the case may be, a flood of new devices has entered the market, causing concern for some who use buy them.

Are snoring mouthguards really dangerous?

Obstructive sleep apena is one of two forms of sleep apena

Obstructive sleep apnea is one of two forms of sleep apnea

The answer to this question all depends on the reason for your snoring. While the majority of people simply snore, some may unknowingly have a medical condition known as sleep apnea which affects approximately 18 million Americans. In a nutshell, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that involves multiple pauses in breathing while sleeping. Signs that you may have sleep apnea include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Issues with memory
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Falling asleep while doing activities during the day

There 2 types of sleep apnea – Central and Obstructive. Central sleep apnea involves a disruption of signals from your brain which tell your lungs to breath. As a result, breathing while sleeping will stop for a period of time. Central is less common but much more serious than OSA.

Obstructive sleep apnea is more prevalent and also a serious medical condition that can lead to conditions such as high blood pressure and stroke. It involves an actual airway obstruction that prevents air from making its way through to the lungs. People who have been diagnosed with this condition are often issued a CPAP machine which actually provides constant air pressure to keep the airway clear.

How to tell if you simply snore or have sleep apnea

Sleep apena or snoringFor simple snoring, mouthpieces are a great choice. However, what if you actually do have a more serious sleep disorder such as sleep apnea? How can you tell the difference between the two?

This is where many people become confused and often make a bad decision. Before going the self treatment route, its a good idea to first speak with your doctor and see what he or she has to say. If your doctor suspects sleep apnea, they may perform a sleep study to eliminate the possibility of a condition such as OSA or CSA.

Can you use a mouthpiece to treat sleep apnea?

In some cases people have successfully treated their obstructive sleep apnea with a mouthguard.

Using a snoring mouthguard to treat OSA should only be attempted under the supervision of a doctor. Self treating OSA using one of these devices is of course not a good idea.

Recommendation

Knowing the underlying cause of snoring is extremely important before treating it. Snoring is no laughing matter and should be taken seriously. Before using any oral appliance, first speak with your doctor in order to determine if there is an underlying issue causing your snoring.


SleepTight – An Affordable and Reliable Mouthpiece

sleeptight creamThere are over two dozen do-it-yourself mouthpieces to choose from. Some have special features while others are quite simple. The “SleepTight” is a product that I have tried and can recommend because it has several desirable features at a reasonable price.
Its most notable features include a larger air hole at the front and grooves that are incorporated into the tray which help to create a tighter fit. For mouth breathers, an opening that provides adequate airflow is necessary and the SleepTight has the largest opening that I have seen in a mouthpiece.
It’s a great choice for those who tend to breathe through their mouth while sleeping or those with allergies, sinus issues, colds, a deviated septum or who have consumed excessive alcohol. The SleepTight was designed by a seasoned dentist with over 30 years of experience.  Here are a few key points to consider:

  • Created By Dr. Michael Williams
  • FDA Cleared
  • Extra Large Breather Hole
  • Solid 1 Piece Design
  • Custom Molds To Your Mouth In Less Than 5 Mins
  • BPA & Latex free
  • Comes With A 30 Day Guarantee
  • Exclusive Buy 1 Get 1 Free Offer to Snoring MouthPiece Guide Readers
  • 2 for $88 Including Shipping (Must Click On “Visit SleepTight” Before Ordering)

Read my complete review of the SleepTight.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Mike January 8, 2014, 2:59 pm

    Hi – I’m curious about this statement:
    “Treating central sleep apena with such a device is extremely dangerous and should not be attempted.”

    I think there is a chance that I may have a combination of both OSA and CSA. Why is a mouthgard dangerous for CSA, and where can I get more info online about that?

    Your website is very well organized and very informative, btw.

    Thanks!

    • Robert Thomas January 8, 2014, 5:19 pm

      Central Sleep Apnea has more to do with the brain not sending the proper signals to control breathing. A mouthpiece simply holds the jaw forward, helping to prevent a physical air restriction in the airway.

      In either case, whether you suspect CSA or OSA, it very important to first speak with your doctor who will likely suggest further testing in order to determine if you have a sleep related breathing disorder and if so, the extent of the problem and possible treatment solutions.

  • Byron Thomas February 22, 2014, 4:29 am

    I went to the doctor and did a sleep study i have osa and use a cpap machine. I often don’t wear it because it is so uncomfortable i think i want to try the GMSS to clear my air way so i don’t snore and can share a bed with my wife again. What do you think would you try this sense it’s not csa? I known your not a doctor but would like to hear what you think.

    • Robert Thomas February 25, 2014, 4:15 pm

      Byron,

      Glad to hear that you went the proper route and had your sleep apnea diagnosed. Many people find that the CPAP machine is uncomfortable and seek alternatives treatment methods. The Mandibular Advancement Device is one such treatment that works great for many people who are CPAP intolerant. In most cases, a medical professional will issue a professionally fitted custom device that can be quite costly.

      As for the Good Morning Snore Solution, I will quote an excerpt from the FAQ page on the manufacturers website:

      “The Good Morning Snore Solution is registered with Health Canada, the European commission, and the ARTG as a class I medical device and is available over the counter for the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring”

      In short, the GMSS may be a great fit for your, however, the ultimate decision should be made by you and your doctor because everyone’s situation is different.

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