You have probably read or been told that a mouthpiece can be very effective at stopping snoring, but if you have missing teeth, dentures, crowns, caps, or bridge work then you may be questioning if this is even an option for you.
Your concern is definitely justified because not all mouthpieces are safe and practical for every scenario. Unfortunately, some manufacturers do not even provide information on their website to clear up this confusion or answer questions you might have. If you have concerns or questions you should find this guide that I have prepared very helpful.
Mandibular Advancement Device: How Does it Work?
To understand why a mouthpiece may or may not work for you it is helpful to become familiar with the mechanics of these oral devices. If you compare several devices, such as VitalSleep, ZQuiet, and SnoreMender you find that they all have unique features.
How MAD works (click to enlarge)
However, despite their small variations, they all have the same goal, which is to hold the jaw in a forward position. By doing this it allows your airway to remain free of obstructions while you sleep.
In order to accomplish this, they commonly apply pressure on the upper front teeth from inside the mouth while simultaneously pushing on the six lower front teeth. That being said, some are higher quality and designed to be significantly more comfortable to wear.
Since strong front teeth on the upper and lower jaw is necessary to hold the device properly in place, many manufacturers will advise against wearing them if you have front teeth that are missing or loose. So, if you have a cap or bridge work, or if you wear dentures you are probably wondering how this applies to your unique situation.
Full and Partial Dentures: Are Mouthpieces Compatible?
Dentures are prosthetic devices that replace missing teeth by being supported by the oral cavity’s soft and hard tissues. Most are removable, but there are some that clasp or bond to teeth or dental implants.
Now that you understand how an MAD is held in place you may be assuming that an MAD is just not compatible, but this is not always the case.
If you wear full dentures most oral appliance manufacturers will strongly advise not wearing their product. However, if you wear a partial denture there is a chance that you may be able to wear an anti-snoring mouthpiece.
Keep in mind that you need strong upper and lower teeth in front, so your ability to wear a mouthpiece will depend on the position of missing teeth and the strength of those that are naturally there.
To determine if you are a good candidate you should always discuss the device you are interested in with your dentist.
How Does a Mouthpiece Affect Bridges, Crowns, or Missing Teeth?
If you have a crown, cap, or bridge work, your ability to wear a mouthpiece safely will depend on the position of the work, as well as the health and strength of your front teeth.
As mentioned, your front teeth are a determining factor, so bridges or crowns in this area of your mouth would make you less likely to be a good candidate for a mouthpiece compared to someone with work at the back of their mouth.
Missing teeth, especially in front, also pose a challenge for wearing a mouthpiece. Understand that the pressure from these appliances is designed to be spread equally across certain teeth.
So, if one is missing, the others would be affected by its absence. If you have missing teeth, talk with your dentist to determine if the MAD you are interested in would be a good fit for you.
Should You Give Up Hope?
Before you give up on the dream of a mouthpiece controlling your snoring you should know that there is an option. Although an MAD may not work, a tongue retaining device known as Good Morning Snore Solution may be a good solution for you.
The GMSS works by holding your tongue forward rather than your jaw. Therefore, it does not need to apply pressure to your front teeth for leverage purposes. The manufacturer actually suggests that it can be worn by individuals with dentures, so it might also be an effective option for those with crowns, bridge work, or missing teeth.
How Effective is GMSS?
I personally put GMSS to the test in a two-week trial, and I can tell you that it does work. When you use it for the first time it feels a little odd, but it is very easy to get used to. It will likely remind you of a pacifier. There is a small bulb that rests on the outside of your teeth.
You squeeze this and suction the inner part to your tongue. I found GMSS to be comfortable and effective. Also, there have been studies done comparing MADs and TRDs, and it has been proven that TRDs can be just as effective for a snoring solution.
It is always recommended to consult your dentist or physician before using a mouthpiece, especially if you have missing teeth, bridge work, or a crown, or if you wear dentures. Your situation is different than someone else, and should be examined and treated uniquely.