Appliances are mechanisms that are worn inside the mouth and either work on the jaw, the tongue, the palates, or in some cases, all three. The most popular and effective are noted below.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Oral Appliances
A number of oral appliances (brand names include The SilencerÃ¢â€žÂ¢ and the EqualizerÃ¢â€žÂ¢) are designed by medical professionals (including dentists) are available on the market, and are currently being used with success by millions of people around the world.
Oral appliances, which act either on the tongue or the jaw, are crafted to achieve a few main anti-snoring goals:
- Keep the mouth shut, and thus prevent the emission of the snoring sound (due to vibration in the trachea)
Push the jaw slightly forward, thus preventing the tongue from falling backwards during deep sleep and thus obstructing the airway.
Enlarge the airway itself and enable a smoother inhale/exhale, thus reducing vibration
Some oral appliances are available over-the-counter in drug and health stores, but for serious snorers, a custom-fitted appliance is usually required (usually by a dentist).
Generally, oral appliances are most often sought out by those for whom other solutions dont work; such as devices, or some non-prescription/not-medicated remedies, such as saline solution. Snorers who opt for appliances, in consultation with their dentist, may decide to wear one throughout the night, or just for small periods of time during sleep.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Tongue Retraining Appliances
Tongue retraining appliances (sometimes called Tongue Retraining Devices, or TRDs), were developed in the early 1980s and designed to move the tongue forward, and thus alleviate any obstruction to the airway.
These appliances use suction power to literally hold the tongue away from the airflow for several hours; thus preventing the tongue from casually returning to its trained position, which is blocking the airway.
Tongue retraining appliances are used by snorers who simply cant (or wont!) sleep on their side (a sleep position in which the mouth stays generally closed). They are arguably not the most comfortable things to sleep with, but they can prove to be quite effective.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Mandibular Advancement Appliances (MAAs)
Also called Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mandibular Advancement SplintsÃ¢â‚¬Â, MAAs are very popular anti-snoring appliances. These appliances look like traditional athletic mouth guards, and are used to keep the jaw in place and prevent it from falling back during sleep, and thus blocking the airway.
Different models of MAAs are available (most of them are made of acrylic), and they usually require custom construction by a qualified dental professional. As such, MAAs can be a bit on the pricey side (as compared to some other non-surgical solutions were looking at in this book).
However, when one factors in the hidden costs of snoring, including the emotional and psychological pain that it can cause an entire family, then the investment seems rather sound to a number of people!
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Thronton Adjustable Positioners (TAPs)
Created by Dr. Keith Thornton in the mid 1990s, TAPs are considered to be on the higher end of the anti-snoring appliance spectrum, especially since some adjustments can be made by the actual snorer, and the material can be made of titanium. The SilencerÃ¢â€žÂ¢ is a popular brand name for a TAP that is receiving some positive feedback.
TAPs, similar to MAAs (discussed above), push the lower jaw forward and thus keep the tongue from blocking the airway to the lungs (and subsequently preventing noise-causing vibration).
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Palate Lifters
An interesting anti-snoring appliance that is generating some attention are palate lifters, which are sometimes called lip shields and lip lifters. These appliances expand the palate, and thus reduce vibration in the airway.
Some opinion suggests that there is of yet a lack of clinical evidence to determine the efficacy and suitability of palate lifters.
However, this doesnt mean that its not a potentially safe and effective solution. As more research is done, and more snorers work with their doctor and/or dentist to access this potential solution, more quality information will become available upon which to make a decision.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
CPAP is the most popular treatment for people suffering from Sleep Apnea. Created in the 1980s, CPAP looks a bit like an oxygen mask, and helps maintain a free flowing respiration. Individuals who have gone to sleep clinics to treat Sleep Apnea will certainly be familiar with this apparatus.
CPAPs come in a range of sizes, and (not unlike laptop computers); some are easier to carry around than others. However, as you can guess the lighter and more modern the CPAP, the higher the price tag. Some people, too, are a bit reluctant to wear this kind of appliance (which looks rather intimidating to some) while they sleep.
CPAPs also help control blood pressure during sleep, which is a very valuable benefit (on top of the ceasing or reduction of snoring). For enhanced effectiveness, CPAPs can sometimes be used in conjunction with other methods noted in this book, such as throat sprays, nasal strips, and humidifiers.