Should anti-snoring dental devices be available
over the counter?
many long-time snorers, the most effective remedy is to sleep with a
mouthpiece -- a dental appliance which acts to move the jaw forward
slightly and/or reposition the tongue so that airways are less blocked and
the soft palate is less likely to vibrate.
Dentists, as you would guess, feel they
should be the ones to prescribe and fit such a device. And, in all
fairness, your dentist is indeed most suited to custom-fit and monitor a
high end mouthpiece (often referred to as a mandibular advancement
device). Your dentist will review the state of your teeth (if you
have loose or false teeth, that may be a clue this is not a good solution
for you) and also be able to say whether your sleep disorder is too
serious to be treated by a mouthpiece.
The problem, of course, is that your
dentist will charge you hundreds of dollars to make or order a custom
device for you. And that's before you even know whether this will be
an effective solution for you. Wouldn't it be better if you could
buy a cheap over-the-counter dental appliance that you could fit yourself?
Then, if it works, maybe you would go to the next step and see your
dentist about a higher-end model custom-made for you.
The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA)
has spent the last couple of years discussing whether to approve
intra-oral devices for general sale but as of now only clears them for
sale by prescription. That leaves the U.S. consumer with a choice of
going to their dentist or obtaining an inexpensive mouthpiece from abroad.
Fortunately, the Internet makes it easy for an individual to order from a
Two vendors we recommend (both because they
advertise with us and because we have successfully used their products)
Sleep Pro and
Therapy Control Products. Both market "boil-and-bite"
mouthpieces. Made of soft plastic, you soften the device in hot water,
then you mold it your mouth, holding your jaw forward a small amount.
When the mold cools, it is firm but flexible and will keep your jaw
slightly advanced while asleep.
Uncomfortable going with a mouthpiece
independently of your dentist or doctor? Here's a low-cost solution:
British orthodontic technician has introduced a
product designed to reduce the cost of determining whether an oral
appliance will work for you. Named
DontSnore, the device has more
customizability than boil-and-bite products, being adjustable both
horizontally and vertically. Your dentist can buy this cheaply
(under $100) and fit it for you. If your snoring or mild sleep
apnea is improved, and it's clear that you can tolerate sleeping with a
mouthpiece, then you can move to a more expensive permanent solution. So
long as dentists are willing to fit a DontSnore device at a low fee, this
may be a good solution for snorers who want to work through their dentist
or physician. Unfortunately the device is available only in Europe,
pending clinical trials in the U.S. (the
manufacturer is actively
soliciting US researchers to run such trials).
Is this information
useful to you?
Send us questions or feedback.
provided by PutanEndtoSnoring does not substitute for the
advice of your physician.
in Children: New research links snoring to learning disorders and
child seem to have a learning problem? Does he or she snore?
If so, they may have a sleep disorder. A study of
480 children published in this month's
Clinical Sleep Medicine says children who snore,
have learning issues and/or excessive daytime sleepiness are
three times as likely to have sleep disordered breathing.
Although the study was not designed to show this, it seems
reasonable to guess that addressing the sleep disorder may
also ameliorate a child's learning disability.
Another reason to be concerned if your child
and other symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in
children are strong risk factors for the future development of
hyperactive behavior, according to a study published in the
July issue of
Sleep. The study of 229 children between two and
13 years of age shows that those who snore habitually are four
times more likely to develop hyperactivity within four years.
What should you do if your child snores?
Well, consult your pediatrician. If they brush off the issue, mention the
above studies. Ask if your child has tonsil and/or adenoid
enlargement. If so, surgery to remove the offending tonsils and adenoids
has been shown to be extremely effective in helping the young patient
sleep better and snore less.