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The wide variety of mouthpieces currently available on the market is huge; there are almost too many out there to try for yourself! This site, and the comparison chart you see below aims to make your search as simple as possible.
mandibular advancing mouthpiece. This chart is simply a summary of benefits and disadvantages to help you to laser-focus your research. Click on any product link or image at left, and you’ll go to the real meat of this site: our comprehensive reviews.
Comparing TSD Vs. MAD Mouthpieces
Both TSD and MAD mouthpieces are devices that are designed to keep you from snoring at night. These two categories of mouthpiece work in two entirely different ways. This article will discuss how both types of mouthpieces work and the benefits and drawbacks of each. While both types of are functional, and are made to help lessen the impact of your snoring, their design and comfort level means that each type has its enthusiasts.
1. The TSD (Tongue Stabilizing Device) Mouthpiece
tsd-demonstration TSD anti-snoring mouthpieces are an interesting category. There are very few individual mouthpieces in this category, and yet it is the most popular category (at least based on feedback to our site). The TSD mouthpiece works by pulling and holding your tongue forward and away from the rear of your throat. The tongue resting towards the back of the throat is a key cause of blockage (as seen in the left panel of the image at right). This blockage is what results in snoring.
With a TSD device, your tongue is inserted into the bulb at the front of the mouthpiece, which will hold your tongue comfortably in place. TSD mouthpieces do not put any pressure on your teeth or jaw while it is in use. As a result of this, many folks find the TSD mouthpieces to be more comfortable than most of the MAD mouthpieces.
You should not use a TSD mouthpiece if you:
Have a deviated septum (or if you have a hard time of breathing through your nose when you sleep)Breathe exclusively with your mouth while sleepingHave been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea by a sleep specialistMany people like the TSD style of mouthpiece because it does not apply heavy pressure to teeth, jaws or gums. This point is particularly important for people with sensitive gums, or any kind of jaw alignment or TMJ issue.
2. MAD (Mandibular Advancement Device) Mouthpiece
The great majority of anti-snoring mouthpieces that are manufactured today are MAD mouthpieces. This is not necessarily because these mouthpieces are the best; in fact, it remains puzzling why there are so few TSD manufacturers, while there are so many MAD designer/manufacturers. This is likely due to patents on the TSD style of mouthpiece, a conversation that is far beyond the scope of this website.
The basic MAD mouthpiece design has been around for well over 30 years. These devices work to stop snoring by holding your lower jaw either in place, or in a forward position, depending on the mouthpiece. The key idea behind this design is that if your lower jaw is not allowed to slide backwards (by far the most common cause of throat blockage), air will flow more freely through your throat and epiglottis when you sleep. Minimizing throat blockage and maximizing air flow is the key to eliminating snoring for most people. The MAD design simply tackles the throat blockage issue from a different angle.
You should not use a MAD mouthpiece if you:
Have any type of denture, crown, bridge or loose teethHave any form of TMJ (these particular devices may worsen any TMJ symptoms)
If you do not have any dental, diagnosed sleep apnea or TMJ issues, either type of mouthpiece may (or may not) work for you.
TSD mouthpieces allow your jaw to rest naturally, while the MAD mouthpieces hold the jaw forward or in place. For many people, the MAD style is comfortable and very effective. On the other hand, many people find it extremely uncomfortable. There are a number of factors that ensure that each individual’s experience with a MAD may be different. These include personal taste, jaw size, gum sensitivity and facial structure (these devices are almost always one-size-fits-all).
Meanwhile, there are those that find the “baby soother”-like design of TSD’s to be uncomfortable. Again, this is a matter of personal choice for many people.
MAD mouthpieces are extremely popular because they are typically cheaper in price than the TSD style. Many people make the mistake of “going cheap” with anti snoring devices, which is often a very bad idea (read about the Amazon factor here).
Basically, it’s better to consider a mouthpiece purchase as an investment – let’s face it, you will probably be using any mouthpiece anywhere from 6-10 hours per day. Would you prefer the most comfortable mouthpiece experience, or to “save a few bucks”?Again, this is a matter of personal choice.
Many people prefer TSD mouthpieces over the MAD design. This is because the TSD is typically a one-size-fits-all mouthpiece that allows for natural movement of the jaw. You can wear this mouthpiece even if you have dentures and mouth soreness is rarely reported. While the TSDs are more expensive than MAD mouthpieces, they do last quite a long time.
The MAD mouthpieces do a decent job of minimizing or eliminating snoring, and are often (but not always) cheaper than the TSD style. Most MAD mouthpieces either need to be trimmed, custom fit, or simply heated in order to fit the individual. Recently, the “boil and bite” procedure has become the primary sizing method for most mouthpieces.
The “boil and bite” method basically works like this: boil a pot of water, place the mouthpiece in it quickly, and then remove the mouthpiece and place it into the mouth. The advent of better thermoplastics makes this method extremely effective for customizing a mouthpiece specifically to your mouth shape.
Some people like the boil and bite method, while many do not like having to fit the mouthpieces themselves. It should be noted, however, that the process is very easy. Custom mouthpieces, meanwhile, are typically quite expensive when ordered through a dentist or sleep specialist.
Different Designs, Same Basic Function
Both TSD and MAD mouthpieces are designed to minimize or eliminate snoring; they just approach it in a different manner. The TSD device works by pulling your tongue forward, while a MAD mouthpiece works by either holding the jaw stationary, or by pulling the jaw forward. For most users, this is a matter of comfort and effectiveness. Because a mouthpiece is designed to be worn for long periods of time, comfort should be your primary focus. A good mouthpiece should NOT hurt the user. And while there is a “breaking in” procedure for every device, it’s almost always better to stop using a mouthpiece that causes pain. It’s just common sense.
Snoring is a very common issue affecting anywhere from 25-45% of Americans, depending on the study (the National Sleep Foundation posts some figures here). Sadly enough, it is also such an embarrassing problem that it can deter people from seeking help or otherwise dealing with it. Heck, even if you live alone, it’s important to understand that snoring is much more than just “some noise in the night”. It has long term effects. So, if you don’t have a reason to come to your senses and make an attempt to fight your snoring problem, then one of these 30 reasons might get you going.
1. So You Can Sleep
This is reason numero uno. Humans need rest. When you can’t sleep, your entire day is affected. This means absolutely every activity or task you perform. You can’t focus when you’re tired. Furthermore, you actually put yourself at risk of obesity because you don’t have any energy during the day to burn any calories or otherwise get any exercise.
Your job performance may suffer as you find that you can’t stay alert. Not to mention your drive home: shouldn’t you be at 100% when you’re driving a 4000 pound vehicle down the highway?
2. So Your Partner Can Sleep
Your partner needs to sleep too. The last thing you want to do is have your partner suffer for all the reasons listed above. That, bar none, is one of the fastest ways to find yourself single! People weren’t meant to be alone. We need each other. Life is so much easier when you have a foundation built with a partner. The family has always been the central building block of every civilization – don’t break yours up by ignoring your snoring problem!
3. So You Can Breathe Easy
breathe-easy When you entered this world, you knew how to breathe. That knowledge came built-in (thankfully!). But, it’s not enough to simply say that you need to breathe to stay alive. We’d go one step deeper and say that you need to protect the things you take for granted.
I knew a guy who was diabetic and didn’t take care of himself. As time went on, his optometrist kept telling him that he was going to lose his eyesight. It wasn’t until he started going blind that he wept and begged the doctor to do something, but it was too late – there was nothing that could be done. Many people who don’t take care of themselves often take their health for granted, and they continue to not care until they are on the brink of losing it.
4. So You Can Save Your Marriage/Relationship
happy couple Marriage doesn’t happen by accident. You don’t wake up one day to randomly find out that you’re married. It takes action, commitment, hard work, and compromise. You decide that you want to spend the rest of your life with your partner. Snoring is an issue your partner has to deal with, and if you decide it’s better to go into another room, you’re treating the symptom, and not the cause.
Besides, one the best perks of marriage is not only sleeping in the same bed, but waking up with that person. The day your partner decides to sleep at the opposite end of your home is the day your marriage starts falling apart. Don’t let that happen because you neglected to take care of your snoring issue.
5. So You Can Get To The Root Of A Medical Problem
sleep-apnea-diagram Snoring is often a symptom of a much larger issue, like sleep apnea. While mouthpieces may help to alleviate obstructive sleep apnea, they do nothing for central sleep apnea (which, it should be noted, is quite rare). Central sleep apnea requires professional medical attention, no matter how you look at it.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be caused by a lot of factors: large tonsils, obesity, a large tongue and many others. But, it can and should be treated quickly, particularly because there are grave potential long term health risks.
6. Because Of The Risk Of Stroke
The analysis of a recent sleep study discovered a link between snoring and strokes. They found that the intensity of your snoring problem “the louder and more forceful you snore” is directly correlated to the amount of fat deposits in your throat. These fat deposits, called “plaque” are often just genetic, but also may be the direct result of bad eating habits. The more plaque you have in your throat, the more likely you are to have a stroke. Now I probably love meat and fatty foods more than the next guy, but there is a lesson in moderation to be learned in all of this: Watch your diet. It may well save your life.