When I was initially introduced to the Zyppah, pronounced “Zee Pah”, the first thing that stood out was its appearance. Unlike the vast majority of MAD’S on the market, this one was sleek and stylish – sporting eye-catching colors of bright neon green and black. Another unique feature was the tongue stabilizing strap, referred to by the manufacturer as “revolutionary z-flex technology”. It is located at the back of the device and stretches horizontally, from one side to the other. The combination of both jaw adjustment and tongue stabilization places this snoring treatment device in a class of its own.
Lets start with a few cold hard facts.
- The Zyppah was developed by industry professional Dr. Johnathan Greenburg who spend over three decades in the field of dentistry and is also studied bioengineering as an undergraduate student. Dr. Greenburg has spent the past 10 years studying sleep apnea and snoring. He currently has five “Snore No More” centers across California in the cities of Encino, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Pasadena, and Valencia that focus on snoring, sleep apnea and CPAP intolerance.
- There are currently 2 types of Zyppah devices available – the over-the counter consumer version which can be purchased on the internet without a prescription. This is used to treat snoring only. Then there are three prescribed version which are custom fitted by a doctor at one of the 5 Snore No More centers in CA.
- Unlike any other oral appliance, this one uses an elastic band in conjunction with a mandibular advancement feature. The jaw advancement helps to tighten tissue and muscles at the rear of the throat while the elastic band works to help prevent the tongue from blocking the air passage while you sleep.
Now that we have established some facts, lets take a closer look at this anti snoring product.
Zyppah and the treatment of sleep Apnea
First, it’s important to note that the version available online is not a treatment for the medical condition known as sleep apnea. The Zyppah is used to reduce or even eliminate the sound of snoring but does not necessarily treat an underlying cause if present. As with all OTC oral appliances, it is advisable that you consult with a doctor in order to determine whether you are simply a snorer or actually have a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea or a combination of both. Treating a sleep disorder with an OTC device prior to consulting with a doctor can be extremely dangerous. A close examination of the Zyppah promotional website will reveal that the term “sleep apnea” is nowhere to be found and there is a good reason for this. Like any other medical device, they should be used only to treat properly diagnosed medical conditions.
Fit, comfort and adjustability
Take one look at this apparatus and the word torture contraption may come to mind. As with any anti-snoring device, it will take a few days to get use to. This product has recently been introduced to the market, and those who have tried it say that it takes about a week to get use to wearing it. Some have reported jaw tenderness during the initial week which soon diminishes. Once accustom to, users claim that it has helped snoring significantly.
An additional concern for many is the tongue stabilizing strap which could potentially trigger the gag reflex. No need to worry about suppressing your reflex as the elastic band is positioned in such a way that will not effect the gag reflex on most people. In fact, very few complaints of this nature have surfaced since this products release over a year ago.
The Zyppah uses commonly found boil and bite technology to created a comfortable fitting piece that contours to the surface of your teeth. Custom fitting is easy and requires that you drop the device into hot water, remove and allow to cool briefly prior to inserting it into your mouth. Once inserted, bite down and hold to form an impression. As the material cools, it retains its shape.
As for the ability to adjust jaw advancement, this particular device does not offer this feature. This can however be found in other devices found online and at your dentist’s office.
My experience using the Zyppah
I must admit, when first introduced to the Zyppah I was somewhat skeptical. A tongue stabilizing strap that resembled a colorful rubber band that was suppose to hold my tongue in place? I’ve tired quite a few tongue stabilizing anti snoring products that all worked by holding the tongue forward such as the Good Morning Snore Solution. However, they were all similar in nature and worked by placing the tip of your tongue into a pacifier like device with a suction bulb at the tip. When squeezed, the bulb would draw the tongue forward and hold it there. The Zyppah takes a different approach by holding the tongue down and in place using a soft rubber-like strap.
As always before drawing any conclusions, I commenced to putting this device to the test.
My Zyppah was shipped via USPS and arrived within 3 days. The box that it arrived in was rather fancy, decorated with brilliant shades of green, yellow and white while boasting the phrase “8 hours of sleep & 0 snoring”. The contents of the package contained some paper work which included the instructions, the device and a storage case. Overall, I was rather impressed with the effort put into packaging this product. The instruction manual was well written and visually appealing. It took about 5 minutes to read over the literature and to understand exactly how this device worked. Armed with my new found knowledge, I was ready to begin the initial fitting process.
In comparison to other devices, the fitting process was quite similar with the exception of the tray design. Most standard “boil and bite” MAD’s are manufactured with some sort of recessed tray with walls which helps to guide your teeth into the correct position while fitting. The Zyppah does not. For this reason, it is critical that you read the instructions carefully to ensure that the initial fitting is completed correctly. Without the recessed trays you must use a mirror to ensure that your upper and lower teeth are placed in the correct position prior to biting down and taking an impression. The following is a brief rundown of the fitting process. More precise instructions can be found in the instruction manual.
The fitting process
Before you begin, gather the following supplies:
- The Zyppah
- A pair of tongs
- Pot with water
- A mirror
- A stopwatch
- Mug of cold water
- Remove the device from it’s packaging and give it a good rinse under warm water. In order to get a feel for the product, place it into your mouth while emulating the following fitting instructions.
- Heat a medium sized pot of water on the range. Once the water reaches boiling temperatures, remove and allow to cool for a minute or so before continuing.
- Using a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon, submerge the device under the hot water for 45 seconds to 60 seconds. I left mine in for the full 60 seconds. Use the tongs or spoon to hold the device under water as it tends to naturally float.
- Carefully remove it from the hot water and allow to cool for 20 seconds. Be very careful while handling the device as the thermoplastic material will be very soft and quite sticky. It’s best to handle it by the rubber strap or the hard plastic portion of the unit.
- Before proceeding, understand which side is up. While looking at the front, the lower portion which reads “Zyppah” is the lower tray. You can also tell by looking at the lower tray as it rests slightly in front of the upper tray. While looking into a mirror, place the device into your mouth, starting with the lower teeth. Ensure that the lower teeth line buts right up against where the harder black plastic meets the softer green thermoplastic. Once aligned, stretch your jaw forward until the outer edge of the upper teeth are resting against where the hard plastic meets the soft plastic in the upper tray. Once aligned, firmly bite down and hold for 1 minute. You should feel your teeth sink into the soft green thermoplastic.
- Carefully remove after one minute and run under cold water or drop into a cup of cold water for a minute or so.
- Once cooled check for fit. If it does not fit properly you can try again by reheating the device and repeating the above steps.
15 nights without snoring
Over the next two weeks I used the Zyppah to control my snoring. One of the first things that I noticed was the ability to breathe freely with the open air hole locate at the front of the device. I also noticed that the overall profile was rather slim. Some of the less expensive models leave you with the feeling of a mouth full of plastic but I did’t get that sensation with this device.
During the initial adjustment period of 4 days I noticed a bit of soreness in my jaw upon rising in the morning. The soreness diminished within the first hour of each day. After a few days the sore feeling completely went away. I also experienced some drooling for a couple nights which also eventually subsided. These two side effects are typical and usually disappear after a few days of use.
Each morning I cleaned the device using a denture cleaning tablet. After a short soak I allowed it to air dry and it was ready to go once again.
So does it work? While testing out the Zyppah I had experienced absolutely no snoring so it is in fact effective!
I suspect that my relief from snoring was due mostly to the jaw advancement feature while the tongue stabilizing strap may have helped to some degree. Depending on the reason for snoring, others who experience snoring due to a relaxed tongue may benefit more from the tongue stabilizing strap.
Reviews from actual customers
“At first I didn’t think this device was going to be comfortable because of the tongue suppressor but I was willing to give it a shot. The Zyppah turned out to work fantastic and it was actually more comfortable than some of the other M.A.D. that I’ve tried. I did break the device though. I broke it within the trial period.” (Sleep Aid Solutions)
How much does it cost?
When originally introduced, this device was selling for $123. Today, one year later, you can pick one up for $89.95 with free shipping and handling.
The Zyppah was recently introduced in June of 2012 and has quickly established itself as a leader in the stop snoring device industry. It was developed by a seasoned dentist who also holds a degree in biomedical engineering. The appliance itself has been proven to help eliminate snoring by using both mandibular repositioning and tongue stabilization. Its low profile makes it less obtrusive and more comfortable than some of the other devices available on the market. Also, it is constructed of a soft silicone like material which increases comfort. Best of all, it is endorsed by Bob Eubanks and spelled backwards Zyppah reads “Happy Z”. </sarcasm>
Compared to similar devices, it is a bit on the pricey side, although it is a one-of-a kind product. The higher price is most likely driven by research and development cost along with promotional expenses.
The overall design is good, although it lacks the ability to adjust the mandibular advancement setting. The unique tongue strap is a plus while the moderately high price is a downfall.
Taking all factors into consideration, I give this product my recommendation because it’s a unique product that is in fact effective.
Have you tried the Zyppah ? Share your personal experience and recommendations in the comment box below.
Which mouthpiece should I buy?
The anti-snoring mouthpiece is one of the most highly effective stop snoring solutions available. With over 100 different products to choose from, deciding which one to buy can be challenging.
As a snorer and product reviewer, I have tried many of these devices and created a list of recommended devices that will help to make this decision much easier.