Topic Overview

Several oral devices have been tested to treat people with
snoring, including a tongue-retaining device that is
worn while sleeping. It pushes the tongue and jaw forward, improving airflow.
Changing the position of the lower jaw enlarges the airway and decreases the
chance that it will collapse when you inhale. This may reduce snoring. This device is called a mandibular repositioning device.

Some oral breathing devices supply electrical stimulation to the
throat muscles to prevent the airway from collapsing when you sleep.

shows that oral breathing devices can reduce snoring.footnote 1

Possible problems with devices that fit inside the mouth may

  • Buildup of saliva in the mouth, requiring
    frequent swallowing.
  • Discomfort, especially in the morning. Because
    the devices can be uncomfortable, people tend not to use them over the long
  • Damage to teeth, soft tissues in the mouth, and the jaw
    joints. A dentist or orthodontist needs to fit the device to prevent these

Excess saliva in your mouth and mild discomfort should become less
bothersome with regular use.

Related Information



  1. Hensley M, Ray C (2009). Sleep apnoea, search date May 2008. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence:


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD – Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Hasmeena Kathuria, MD – Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine

Current as ofMarch 25, 2017