- KILLER IN YOUR BEDROOM
- Info & Support
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Imagine, you have a snoring problem and like so many people, you search online for a ‘cure’, a quick fix – and in no time at all there it is:
Your instant snoring cure!
Sold to you with all sorts of promises, guarantees and ‘testimonials’ – etc. etc.
What could possibly go wrong?
What annoys me about supposed instant ‘snoring cures’, aids, strips and goodness knows what gadgets, is that unscrupulous businesses are simply exploiting desperate snorers (and their families and partners) for profit, without giving a damn about the punter; the harm their ‘cures’ do and the delay the cause, in obtaining actual help.
Such businesses encourage the desperate to part with their cash by asking daft questions, such as:
‘Work out what kind of snorer you are’
Read self-diagnose to then sell them a supposed instant ‘snoring cure’ to ‘treat’ 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. Funnily enough they will have just the cure you need in stock!
That’s a surprise isn’t it… [NOT]
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:
In that order – by a Professional.
Snoring is no different.
It’s not a joke:
In fact it could be very serious indeed.
So, if you’re thinking about a ‘cure’ then see a sleep-trained pharmacist. Pharmacists are the most accessible and underutilised healthcare professional. They can guide you to the most appropriate ‘cure’ for your snoring problem (and check if its something more serious).
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?
Instant snoring cures are most commonly 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 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 and depend upon it to keep your throat open, so you can breathe and sleep at the same time (and pray it doesn’t break and you end up inhaling or swallowing it…)
Dunno about you but I like breathing… and not having bits of broken gadget in my lungs…
That’s apart from the impact your instant snoring cure WILL have on your teeth, your gums and jaw-joints…
The lesson here is to see someone who knows what they are doing (and hasn’t just been on a manufacturer’s half-day course)
Both snoring and sleep apnoea / apnea deserve proper assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Not muffling with a ‘quick fix’ cure or gadget.
You might have seen some blurb for instant snoring gumshields 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 NHS England’s Information Standard accredited 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 mouthpieces are better!”
Well, you’d be wrong:
We don’t sell anti-snoring gadgets, potions, cures, sprays or aids…..!
I particularly hate instant snoring cures worn in your mouth, as the balance of side-effects versus benefits, is generally not in your favour:
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
Anti-snoring mouthpieces may also be described as splints, gumshields, mandibular repositioning devices, oral devices and appliances. Or combinations of these terms. You may see: MRD, MAS, MAD…
No room here.
Assuming you are not keen on being exploited by the unscrupulous ‘quick fix’ gang selling ‘cures’ and snake oil, or are into hurting yourself… and you want to stop snoring – you should be screened for obstructive sleep apnoea symptoms first.
Snoring may be warning sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea/Apnea (OSA).
You need knowledge and criteria for choice (which is what Snorer.com is all about):
Some simple questions to ask:
The responsible sleep-trained Dentist doesn’t just ‘fit’ you with an anti-snoring mouthpiece 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 mouthpiece will place upon them.
And to establish the situation now before you start using the mouthpiece (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 mouthpiece 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] and how much you can protrude [push your jaw forwards] amongst other things).
Means it’s financially a good idea. These things can be expensive so it needs to last. Look for a warranty. Typically 2-5 years is available from the manufacturer.
Means that the mouthpiece ‘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.
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.
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 mouthpiece 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!
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 mouthpiece 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 over time) until you stop snoring can really help avoid or minimise these side-effects.
When ear plugs, self-help and pillows aren’t cutting it – it’s time to get serious.
A sleep-trained pharmacist can direct you to the most appropriate expert to help you stop snoring.
They can also help with lifestyle issues (which may be the underlying reason why you snore).
They will screen you for sleep apnoea and decide if you need further investigation i.e. a sleep study.
If you don’t need a sleep study they can direct you to a sleep-trained dentist for a custom-made, anti-snoring device.
Which is the first way to stop snoring and also treat mild to moderate OSA3, 4.
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 and instant ‘cures’ 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.
Oh, and NO I am not a dentist (or a pharmacist).
Keep doing your homework by reading our impartial (we don’t sell them) comparison and review posts in the Related section.