Snoring and Snore-Reducing Devices

If you're on this page, someone has probably told you that you snore—or you have a partner or family member that does. You may be wondering what your next step is. You may have seen or heard the commercials or advertisements for snore-reducing devices, often called anti-snore mouth guards or mouthpieces. These devices are designed to reduce snoring by holding the tongue in place or pushing the jaw forward.

Before purchasing a snore-reducing device, be sure that you understand the intended use of these devices, as well as their limitations.

What is snoring?

Snoring is more than just a sound that occurs during sleep. It is a medical disease that should be diagnosed by a physician and then treated. Snoring has been associated with sleep deprivation, daytime drowsiness, irritability, lack of focus and decreased libido. Loud snoring has been associated with increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

How is snoring diagnosed?

If you're not sure if you snore, you can get a sleep study done or see a physician. If you already know that you're a snorer, you should inform your doctor that you snore and of any other issues related to your sleep (for example, if anyone has ever told you that you stop breathing, gasp or make choking sounds while sleeping). Your physician will then complete a sleep evaluation (or refer you out to have one done) and may refer you to a board-certified sleep medicine physician if needed.

A dentist should not offer to treat your snoring without it first being diagnosed by a physician.

My physician has diagnosed my snoring. What should I consider before purchasing a snore-reducing device?

Snore-reducing devices are affordable and can work when set up appropriately. However, you are on your own when it comes to setting them up and using them. Snore-reducing devices, when improperly fit, can create side effects like jaw pain and dental changes. Using a snore-reducing device without any supervision by a dentist can leave you at risk for harm, so please be sure to let your dentist know if you are using one. Also, if the snore-reducing device doesn’t work, be sure to tell your physician and explore other options to be sure that your snoring is properly treated.

I've had problems with my snore-reducing device. Can I complain?

You can use the FDA’s MedWatch voluntary reporting form to inform the FDA about problems you encounter with your OTC oral appliance. More general information about the FDA medical device reporting program can be found on the FDA's website.

What other options are there to help my snoring?

Losing weight, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and sleeping on your side can help to reduce snoring in some cases. But sometimes these adjustments aren't enough, and at times, they're not the cause of snoring to begin with. In these cases, your doctor can prescribe a custom-fit oral appliance that can be made by a qualified dentist. For more information about oral appliances, click here. To find a qualified dentist who can help you, click the button below.


Updated June 24, 2020