Comparison of dental splints over breathing mask to alleviate snoring

The noisy sounds of snoring occur during sleep when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. Forty-five percent of adults snore at least occasionally and 25 percent are habitual snorers.

Snoring can cause sleep deprivation for the snorer and lead to other issues like daytime drowsiness, irritability, lack of focus, and decreased libido. Treatment options can include lifestyle changes (weight loss), use of specialized devices, and surgery.

Results from a new study presented at the 2007 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO indicate greater success for the use of a dental splint over use of a breathing mask to alleviate snoring. Twenty snorers participated in this prospective randomized crossover trial. Each snorer received three months of treatment with a dental splint and three months of treatment with a nasal breathing mask. The Snoring Outcomes Survey (SOS) questionnaire was completed before and after each treatment. On trial completion, patients were asked to state a treatment preference for long-term therapy. Preference options were the splint, the nasal breathing mask, or neither treatment. Patients opting for the dental splint reported a greater improvement in snoring severity than those opting for the breathing mask.

Results suggest that certain disruptive snoring can be managed effectively with conservative treatments and therefore avoid surgery.

The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (, one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's mission: “Working for the Best Ear, Nose, and Throat Care.”


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