March 18, 2022 3 min read

When it comes to treating sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the “gold standard.” Studies have shown time and time again that it’s the most effective in reducing the severity of sleep apnea symptoms. But not many can tolerate CPAP therapy, and it’s not meant to help with simple snoring either.  

That’s where oral appliances like tongue-stabilizing devices come in handy as more comfortable, versatile, and convenient alternatives. But there’s a catch: these have their own share of side effects. 

So, if you’re considering using tongue-stabilizing devices to treat snoring or sleep apnea, it's a good idea to know about their downsides too. This can help you weigh out the pros from the cons and bring you your money’s worth.

About Tongue Stabilizing Devices

A  tongue stabilizing device is a type of oral appliance designed to stop snoring. Oral appliances are medical devices that fit into the mouth and help to maintain an open airway during sleep. Note that during sleep, the tongue relaxes and can block the oral airway resulting in snoring. A tongue-stabilizing device is design to hold the tongue in a forward position, which helps maintain an open airway and alleviate snoringCompared to other oral appliances, tongue-stabilizing devices are easy to use, affordable, don’t require custom fitting, and are comfortable. Although these oral appliances may look goofy — some say they look like large pacifiers — they’re quite effective. An international literature review found that they reduce the apnea-hypopnea index by 53% and increase the lowest oxygen saturation by 4.1 oxygen saturation points. 

Side Effects of Tongue-Stabilizing Devices

Although tongue-stabilizing devices can help reduce the severity of sleep apnea and provide relief from simple snoring, there may be some minor side effects. 

For example, some users may experience minor side effects including excessive saliva, mouth dryness and tender oral mucosa and tongue. Fortunately, these minor side effects are usually temporary and will resolve spontaneously with continued use over a few days to a few weeks (The Initial Acclimation Period) at most as you get used to wearing the mouthpiece. 

Compared to the disrupted sleep caused by snoring and the health consequences of untreated sleep apnea and snoring, these seem like a worthwhile trade-off. 

Should You Try a Tongue Stabilizing Device?

If you have sleep apnea or are a habitual snorer, a tongue stabilizing device may be exactly what you need. These are proven to be effective for simple snoring and some cases of sleep apnea, keeping the upper airway open during sleep.

If you can handle the temporary excess salivation, mouth dryness or tender oral mucosa and tongue during the initial acclimation period as a trade-off for many nights of restful sleep, we definitely recommend trying a  tongue stabilizing device.  Good Morning Snore Solution mouthpieces are clinically proven to work and come with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. 



References: 

Calik MW. Treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.J Clin Outcomes Manag. 2016;23(4):181-192.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4847952/

Chang ET, Fernandez-Salvador C, Giambo J, et al. Tongue retaining devices for obstructive sleep apnea: A systematic review and meta-analysis.Am J Otolaryngol. 2017;38(3):272-278.doi:10.1016/j.amjoto.2017.01.006

Alshhrani WM, Kohzuka Y, Okuno K, Hamoda MM, Fleetham JA, Almeida FR. Compliance and side effects of tongue stabilizing device in patients with obstructive sleep apnea [published online ahead of print, 2021 Apr 25].Cranio. 2021;1-14.doi:10.1080/08869634.2021.1917900

Yanagihara M, Tsuiki S, Setoguchi Y, Inoue Y. Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea with a Tongue-Stabilizing Device at a Single Multidisciplinary Sleep Center.Journal of Dental Sleep Medicine.2016 ; 3(2):43-47.doi: 10.15331/jdsm.5716

Sutherland K, Vanderveken OM, Tsuda H, et al. Oral appliance treatment for obstructive sleep apnea: an update.J Clin Sleep Med. 2014;10(2):215-227. Published 2014 Feb 15.doi:10.5664/jcsm.3460



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