Two of the most common kinds of anti-snoring devices are the oral kind, or mouthpiece, and the chin strap. Both of these appliances can be seen in a number of varieties with a simple internet search. However, one of these snoring solutions is much more effective than the other. It has been proven time and time again in both clinical settings and in the real world. You may still have some questions though, that is normal. Keep reading to find out all the facts about both mouthpieces and chin straps.
What Is An Oral Device?
Oral snoring solutions are sometimes called oral appliances, but many simply call them mouthpieces. There are two distinct kinds made to prevent snoring. One of them is made to pull the lower jaw forward and is referred to as a jaw retaining mouthpiece because of this.
This is the oldest style but also the most studied by medical professionals. There are also tongue retaining mouthpieces which are made to hold the tongue forward during sleep. This kind of oral device is a bit newer but it has been thoroughly studied already due to its level of comfort and effectiveness.
Since the two kinds of oral appliances mentioned above work through different means to prevent snoring, they fit quite differently from one another. The jaw retaining variety generally fits over the teeth on the lower jaw. The tongue retaining kind attaches to the tip of the tongue and may have some contact with the outside of the lips as well.
Both varieties have been shown to be effective when used to prevent snoring. However, there is a definite trend among those that have tried both kinds. Most prefer tongue retaining mouthpieces because of the level of comfort and effectiveness that they offer.
Benefits Of Oral Devices
Mouthpieces or oral appliances come with several main benefits over other snoring solutions. One of these that many snorers are very interested in is comfort. Comfort certainly does play a role in getting a good night’s sleep; it is not something to be overlooked. Many mouthpieces are comfortable, even more so when compared to other options like a CPAP system.
Another benefit most oral devices come with is convenience. Most users find using their mouthpiece to be very easy. All they have to do is place it correctly and then they are free to go to sleep normally. Although this benefit is often an afterthought, convenience is a major factor when it comes to using a solution consistently.
The final benefit that will be mentioned here is effectiveness. Both kinds of mouthpieces can work. Mandibular advancement appliances only work for those with a jaw related cause of snoring though. Tongue retaining devices often work for nearly everyone. No solution can guarantee that it will completely prevent snoring, but the best mouthpieces available often work as well as a CPAP system.
Faults Of Oral Devices
At the time of this writing, no major faults have been reported by users of tongue retaining mouthpieces. Jaw advancing mouthpieces are another story. There are several risks that come with any solution that moves the jaw forward. One of these is jaw pain. Sometimes it is only until the user becomes accustomed to the device. Other times it becomes a chronic issue of its own. In addition to that, bite issues have been known to develop. Sometimes those who develop bite issues are lucky enough to have them reversed by a dental professional. Needless to say, others are not so lucky.
Alternative – Chin Strap Devices
The most common chin straps simply fit around the lower jaw and high on the back of the head. This device actually works the same way that a jaw retaining mouthpiece does. It is made to pull the lower jaw forward during sleep.
The idea behind this is that by moving the lower jaw forward the device will reduce any pressure that may be on the throat and constriction will be reduced as a result. It is a valid theory and has been tested. Jaw advancing devices can work for those who snore because of jaw relaxation or other similar issues.
Benefits of Chin Straps
There is only one real benefit to using a chin strap. That benefit is that they can be more comfortable for those that do not like the idea of sleeping with something in their mouth. Since most chin straps are made of neoprene or a similar material they can often be worn comfortably during sleep.
Faults Of Chin Straps
There are several major faults frequently associated with anti-snoring chin straps. Although this particular fault is not dangerous, it certainly defeats the purpose of using the device. All chin straps are capable of sliding off during the night. This is a fact. That is the biggest downfall of this solution. A device that does not stay in place is a device that cannot work. The next fault of this device is that it is also likely to break. Some designs use a number of small plastic clips to connect individual straps and these can easily be crushed by the weight of one’s own head.
Certain chin straps have also been known to cause itching and skin irritation. The same is true for adhesive chin straps albeit worse. Adhesive devices have even been known to cause rashes or remove skin in some cases. However, complications like these are an individual matter. This solution is not a good choice for anyone with sensitive skin.
Factors To Consider
To sum things up, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing a snoring solution. Some of these include comfort, ease of use, associated risks, and personal preference. Choose wisely though, not all anti-snoring devices live up to the claims and some do carry a risk of serious, even permanent, side effects.