If you've tried everything else and can't stop snoring, a custom-fitted mouthpiece almost always works -- but it doesn't come cheap. Medical insurance may cover the cost, though (especially if you're diagnosed with sleep apnea). The custom fit tends to be more comfortable than over-the-counter mouthpieces.
Helps snoring in 80 to 90 percent of patients. Custom-fitted mouthpieces really work: 80 to 90 percent of patients who wear their mouthpieces faithfully get relief from snoring, and 75 percent get relief from mild to moderate sleep apnea, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine tells The New York Times.
Doctors recommend trying four behavioral changes first -- stop smoking, lose weight, sleep on your side and avoid alcohol close to bedtime -- and if you snore because you're congested, Breathe Right Nasal Strips (Est. $5 for a box of 10) are worth a try, experts say. But if those don't work, a custom-fitted mouthpiece probably will.
Takes a few weeks to get used to. A custom-fitted mouthpiece for snoring "looks something like a mouthguard worn by a hockey player," The New York Times says. To get one, you'll first need to undergo an overnight sleep study, where a doctor will determine whether you have sleep apnea. Then, a dentist specially trained in sleep medicine will custom-fit your mouthpiece.
A mouthpiece can even take the place of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) says.
"For most patients it takes a few weeks to get used to sleeping with an oral appliance in your mouth," AASM says. "Unlike CPAP, oral appliances are small enough to fit in your purse or carry-on bag."
This website of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends effective snoring remedies, based on sound medical science. Doctors recommend behavioral changes first (losing weight, sleeping on your side, etc.), but if those don't work, a custom-fitted mouthpiece is recommended.
Review: Oral Appliance Therapy -- Overview, Editors of SleepEducation.com, Not dated
2. The New York Times
Custom-fitted mouthpieces are highly effective, top sleep doctors tell The New York Times. When worn regularly, they ease snoring in 80 to 90 percent of patients and mild-to-moderate sleep apnea in 75 percent of patients. This article clearly outlines lifestyle changes you should try first (like losing weight) as well as the estimated cost of a custom mouthpiece.
Review: Snoring: What to Do When a Punch in the Shoulder Fails, Walecia Konrad, Dec. 10, 2010
3. CBS News "The Early Show"
Three over-the-counter snoring remedies -- a nasal strip, a throat spray and a pillow -- don't work, according to a Wilford Hall Medical Center study reported by CBS News. However, a custom-fitted mouthpiece does work for one longtime snorer and sleep apnea sufferer who consults study doctor Peter Michaelson.
Review: Anti-Snoring Devices Fail Test, Kelly Cobiella, Feb. 11, 2009