How to stop snoring: The definitive, step-by-step guide: signposting, assessment, screening, sleep testing, diagnosis, treatments, follow-up (2019)
It starts off like this:
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?
I HATE instant snoring ‘cures’ because they do more harm than good.
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…
Here’s an analogy
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 get signposted to the most appropriate professional to help you.
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?
But Snoring? What do Dentists know about that?
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…
Click for: Dentists with a special interest in sleep
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: –
Well, you’d be wrong:
We don’t sell anti-snoring gadgets, potions, cures, sprays or aids…..!
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 mouthpieces 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 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…
But this is not a post comparing the merits of Over-the-Counter versus Custom-Made Mandibular Advancement Devices.
You should be screened for sleep apnoea before using ANY ‘cure’
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):
How you can tell if the sleep-trained dentist knows their stuff?
Some simple questions to ask:
- Are they a member of a professional dental sleep organisation?
- Ask them what training they have in sleep
- Are they insured to provide anti-snoring mouthpieces?
- Do they offer a range of custom-made anti-snoring mouthpieces?
- Ask to see example mouthpieces (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 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 doesn’t exist
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).
The feature set below should help you have a more informed conversation:
- Cheap (or very durable and can be modified if you lose a tooth)
- Has good retention
- Is adjustable
- Isn’t bulky
- Comfort (as in you can use it)
- Has minimal side effects
- Is easy to keep clean
Cheap – Click here to learn more
Retention – Click here to learn more
Adjustable – Click here to learn more
Bulky – Click here to learn more
Comfort – Click here to learn more
Side Effects – Click here to learn more
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.
Keep doing your homework by reading our impartial (we don’t sell them) comparison and review posts in the Related section below:
Created by Adrian Zacher. Page last updated 23rd March 2019
Here are some more high quality Guides and reviews of snoring ‘cures’, aids and gadgets:
What’s the best snore-relief product available without prescription? Read this independent (no affiliate links!) review to find out.
5 [little known] bizarre facts about PAP for sleep apnoea. These apparently counter-intuitive facts aim to make PAP therapy safe and effective.
If you’re looking for the best anti-snoring device, read my impartial review of the top-selling features and benefits. I compare Over-the-Counter (OTC) versus prescription Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs). I don’t sell them or benefit from affiliate deals.
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