Are all Instant Stop Snoring ‘Cures’ a Rip-Off?

Perhaps not all instant stop snoring ‘cures’ are (I will tell you how to stop snoring) but lets move away from the device, potion, spray etc. itself for a moment; and look at the real problem:  

How these things are provided

Here’s an analogy for you:

If you cannot see properly – do you guess what lenses you need and fit your own glasses?

No of course you don’t.

You get assessed, diagnosed and provided with the right ones.

Key points are:

  1. Assessment
  2. Diagnosis
  3. Treatment

In that order – by a professional.

Snoring is no different.

It’s not a joke.

In fact it could be very serious indeed.

Read more.

Let’s break your argument down

You’re the expert right?

Its your snoring after all – and your mouth, teeth and gums too. What would a Dentist know about teeth and gums?

Yes exactly:

A lot.

 

But Snoring? – What do Dentists know about that?

OTC anti-snoring devices most commonly are things you wear in your mouth. Some Dentists (see below) choose to develop a special interest in snoring or more correctly ‘sleep related breathing disorders’ (SRBD) and they really should be your first call when you’re thinking of a snoring cure.

Think about it – you’re going to wear this thing in your mouth while you are ASLEEP in bed and depend upon it to keep your throat open so you can breathe and sleep (and pray it doesn’t break and you end up inhaling or swallowing it…) Dunno about you but I like air…

Thats apart from the impact it WILL have on your teeth, your gums and jaw-joint…

You can find dentists with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders here:

Dentists with a special interest in sleep

USA http://www.aadsm.org/findadentist.aspx new-window United Kingdom: http://bsdsm.org.uk new-window Germany: http://www.dgzs.de/ new-window Europe: https://www.eadsm.eu/find-dentist/ new-window

 

(I will add links to appropriate professional organisations as I find them – please let me know if you come across one).

 

The lesson here is to see someone who knows what they are doing (and hasn’t just been on a manufacturer’s course)

What’s your beef with ‘instant’ stop snoring cures?

I particularly hate ‘instant’ snoring cures worn in your mouth, as the balance of side-effects versus benefits, is generally not in your favour:

All anti-snoring devices have side-effects.

This is true for both instant and professional fit/custom-made ones fitted by a dentist. It is simply a risk/benefit analysis.  

This means you may well suffer some irreversible harm – or – if you get lucky just waste your money

Let’s clear this up now:

Anti-snoring devices may also be described as mouthpieces, splints, gumshields, mandibular repositioning devices, oral devices and appliances. Or combinations of these terms. You may see: MRD, MAS, MAD…

How to Stop Snoring

Assuming you are not keen on being exploited by the unscrupulous ‘quick fix’ gang or are into hurting yourself and you want to stop snoring – you should be screened for sleep apnoea symptoms.

Snoring may be warning sign of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). In the UK, you can consult your GP and some sleep trained Dentists can also screen you for OSA. 

You have choices there too. You need knowledge and criteria for choice:

Some simple questions to help:

  • Are they a member of a professional sleep organisation?
  • Ask them what training they have in sleep
  • Are they insured to provide anti-snoring devices?
  • Do they offer a range of custom-made anti-snoring devices?
  • Ask to see example devices (they should have at least 2 or 3 different designs)
  • Do they work with a local hospital sleep/ENT department?

The responsible sleep trained Dentist doesn’t just ‘fit’ you with an anti-snoring device and wave goodbye.  

They are going to make sure that your snoring isn’t a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)

And if they are concerned refer you for specialist investigation. The Dentist will assess you including examination of your teeth, gums and jaw joint, to ensure that they are healthy and are able to withstand the loads the anti-snoring device will place upon them. And to establish the situation now before you start using the device (so change may be monitored) they will take x-rays of your teeth (or if fairly recent x-rays exist – request sight of them from your regular dentist).

They will establish that your nasal airway is satisfactory, they will assess the size of your tongue, soft palate and oral tissues. The list goes on and on. They will also keep what is known as ‘master casts’ (records of the position of your teeth). Oh and their training is recognised by their professional indemnity insurer.  

They do this to ensure they don’t make a problem while trying to ‘cure’ your snoring

The ideal anti-snoring device doesn’t exist

The ideal anti-snoring device doesn’t yet exist – but fear not. Getting close to perfect for you is something that the expert sleep-trained Dentist can help you with (it depends upon many things eg: how many teeth you have and where, whether you grind your teeth [bruxism] amongst other things). The feature set below should help you have a more informed conversation:

  1. Cheap (or very durable and can be modified if you lose a tooth)
  2. Has good retention
  3. Is adjustable
  4. Isn’t bulky
  5. Comfort (as in you can use it)
  6. Has minimal side effects
  7. Is easy to keep clean

Point 1

Cheap - Click here to learn more

Means it’s financially a good idea. These things can be expensive so it needs to last. Look for a warranty.

Point 2

Retention - Click here to learn more

Means that the device ‘retains’ your teeth and doesn’t slip off – and can then hold your lower jaw forwards to do what you actually want the device to do – stop you snoring.

Point 3

Adjustable - Click here to learn more

Means that it is adjustable in how far it holds the lower jaw forwards of your relaxed ‘normal’ position. This adjustment may be in fine increments or infinitely adjustable.

Point 4

Bulky - Click here to learn more

Is linked to point 5. It means that it fits in your mouth comfortably and doesn’t make you feel like you have a tennis ball in your mouth. The more normal you look when wearing it – is the thing to look for. Can you speak, drink, yawn with it in your mouth?

Point 5

Comfort - Click here to learn more

Can also be interlinked with point 2. Some anti-snoring devices use a material that EXPANDS on cooling to give a tight fit. As the material effectively squeezes your teeth it can hurt. Also, if the device includes your front teeth it can then place the weight of your lower jaw (and muscle pull) upon them. This can feel like you have been punched in the face on waking!

Point 6

Side Effects - Click here to learn more

Relates to the most common side-effects. These include tooth sensitivity (see point 5), dribbling when the device is worn and jaw pain. Correct choice of device for you (which is something the expert Dentist will be able to help with) is key. GRADUAL increase in protrusion (the advancing of your lower jaw) until you stop snoring can really help avoid or minimise these side-effects.

I Hate Instant Snoring Cures

What I particularly hate about instant snoring ‘cures’ is that unscrupulous businesses are exploiting desperate snorers (and their family and partners). Such businesses encourage the naive to ‘Work out what kind of snoring you have’ (read self diagnose) to then sell them a ‘cure’ to ‘treat’ their own snoring. The merit (or otherwise) of the supposed ‘cure’ is one thing, but:  

The individual is unable to distinguish between anti-social, nuisance snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea

It is a SCAM and a dangerous one at that.

Both snoring and sleep apnoea deserve proper assessment, diagnosis and treatment.

Not muffling with a quick fix gadget.

You might have seen some blurb for anti-snoring devices online, at the Pharmacy, Dentist, Doctors or perhaps read about them here and there. They are all over the internet. You might have even read our Free Guide about “How to choose a ‘mouthpiece'” and perhaps thought: –

“Yeah that’s obviously a sales pitch as its co-written by a Dentist… and Dentists just want to make money right – so they’re going to say that Dentist fitted devices are better!”

Summary

Today, you have to be alert for scams online, in the Post, on the telephone, pretty much everywhere. (I even received a scam phone call while typing this).

Please use your head.

If it looks too good to be true – then don’t fall for it. Snoring may well be nothing more than a nuisance, but it could be obstructive sleep apnoea.

Self ‘diagnosing’ and ‘treating’ yourself with gimmicks is NOT a cost saving, it may well do you harm and mask a real problem that needs investigating and treating properly, regardless of whether it’s ‘just’ snoring or sleep apnoea.

Read our impartial Guide: 

Best Anti-Snoring Device expert guide

What we do:

Anonymous sleep apnoea testing,

Signposting and

Dentist training

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Adrian Zacher

Sleep business expert, passionate about providing evidence-based information, that enables choice.
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