There are more than 40 devices and appliances designed to help those with sleep apnea and snoring. Some are custom made – ie made for the individual – and some are mass produced. Some are also fixed and some are adjustable.
They have a lot of advantages, such as being safer, cheaper and more rapidly successful than anti snoring surgery. Most surgeons won’t consider surgery until you’ve tried some of these devices.
This is a guide to a few of them. We’ve included reviews of the products where they are available, and tried to keep them independent (rather than from the manufacturers’ websites).
Most people with sleep apnea have obstruction that comes from the tongue or the soft palate at the back of the mouth. Sleep apnea mouthpieces are designed to change the position of the soft palate, jaw and tongue.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airways Pressure) devices are also good for moderate and severe sleep apnea and can make a real difference to quality of life. Not everyone can tolerate them, but there’s more about them here.
Factors in success for sleep apnea mouthpieces and devices include:
- Being able to adjust the device
- So that it stays in position and is
- Comfort able for the wearer
- Younger age groups tend to have more success than older people
- People with a smaller neck size also do better
- As do those with a lower BMI (body mass index), so losing weight will certainly help with snoring and sleep apnea.
The Tomed SomnoGuard AP
This is a sleep apnea mouthpiece is designed to move the jaw forward so that the soft palate and tongue don’t block the
Reviews on the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association website gave it 4.5 out of 5 (62 reviews). One reviewer gave it the thumbs up but did say that it took about 10 days for him to get used to it.
- It has a secure and tight fit over the teeth, is easy to fit and this doesn’t need to be done by a dentist.
- There is a simple moulding process before you fit it, that takes about 10 minutes and this can be re-done about 10 times. Re-moulding is necessary with all sleep apnea mouthpieces to make sure your teeth and jaw are comfortable as the teeth move a little over time and if you have dental work.
- It should last 12-18 months.
- You can use it if you have a blocked nose as it allows for mouth breathing.
- It can be worn with dentures and/or if you have some missing teeth.
- It is suitable for small, medium and large mouths, but not extra-large or extra-small.
- Prices vary but are generally around £100/$60US.
The Tomed SomnoGuard SP Soft.
Like the Tomed SomnoGuard, this has a tight fit on the upper and lower teeth. This is achieved by the 2 polycarbonate trays which are filled with a copolymer. This becomes soft when it’s heated. You then bite into it and it takes impressions of the teeth.
The price is around £140/$80US and the other specifications are similar to the The Tomed SomnoGuard AP above.
Of the 30 product reviews for this sleep apnea mouth guard on the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association website, 27 of them rate it 4 or 5 out of 5.
The Somni Snore Guard.
The Somni Snore Guard is specifically designed for people who sleep with their mouths open and snore.
- It isn’t designed to bring the lower jaw forward, unlike the other mouthguards we’ve looked at here.
- However the manufacturer claims that clinical trials have demonstrated a success with the device and an Amazon reviewer gives it 5 stars (out of 5). He says it takes a little getting used to and remembering to clean and reshape it but his wife and family are also pleased.
- It’s discrete and can be used on planes, trains etc.
- The cost is about £40/$20US, but again this varies.
We’ve focused on 3 Tomed products here because they are recommended by many UK Ear Nose and Throat specialists.
FDA cleared mouthguard for preventing snoring.
- Gently lifts the jaw forward to allow better airflow
- 30-day trial
- Video testimonials to watch on the website
- Created and designed in conjunction with sleep specialist Dr Avery Lieberman
- Additional booklets for information come with the zQuiet
- Costs $9.95.
- zQuiet is our affiliate. Click the picture to find out about zQuiet.
SleepGuard claims an 85% effectiveness rate at preventing snoring.
- It works by holding the jaw forward slightly. This opens the airway at the back of the throat and prevents the tongue/soft palate from vibrating or blocking it.
- The SnoreGuard is moulded for personal use by putting it into hot water for a few minutes and then biting into the special upper and lower jaw trays, similar to the Tomed devices.
- It costs about £30/$15US.
- Comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.
- Of the 54 reviews currently on Amazon for this product, 30 people gave it 5 stars, saying it worked for them.
This works in the same way as the devices above, fitting over the upper and lower teeth.
- The manufacturer says that it doesn’t need any fitting but can be easily adjusted if needed.
- It’s washed with soap.
- It is made from latex-free, silicone-free, phthalates-free and BPA-free, specially formulated dental thermoplastic.
- It should last 9-18 months.
- Costs about £40/$15US.
- Comes with a 90 day money back guarantee.
- At the time of writing, there are no independent reviews for the SnoreMender.
The 2Plus2 Anti Snore
This device is also ‘clinically proven’ and comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.
- It’s designed to stop snoring and sleep apnea.
- Comes with easy instructions.
- Needs moulding before use.
- Prices are around £20/$12US
- 2 reviews on Amazon give it 4 out of 5, one saying that it takes a while to get used to.
The Snore-Stopping Mouth Guard
Another product guaranteed to stop snoring.
- It costs about £17/$9US.
- There’s limited information available about this device.
- It’s not designed for people who have sleep apnea.
- Amazon reviews (3) averaged it 4/5 stars.
So which is the best sleep apnea mouthpiece?
As you can see, some of these off-the-shelf dental mouthpieces are fitted to the individual and some aren’t. Generally those that are cheaper don’t have the facility for personal fitting and adjustment.
Finding the best sleep apnea mouthpiece for you will depend on your budget as well as your degree of snoring or sleep apnea. If you want to invest in a sleep apnea mouthpiece (either custom made or off-the-shelf) it might be a good idea to discuss this with your specialist before buying.
However if you want to just try one to see what they feel like and if you can get used to it, perhaps try one of the cheaper models, especially if it has a money-back guarantee.
You dentist will also be able to advise on the dental mouthpieces for sleep apnea that s/he recommends and has found to be of use with patients.
People with the following conditions should not receive oral appliance therapy:
- If you have no teeth or few teeth – your dentist will advise.
- Active dental disease
- Acute temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD) problems
- TMJD arthritis
- A dislike of having structures in the mouth
- Limited dexterity
- Limited mental capacity