Tongue Retaining Devices

A tongue retaining device is a type of anti-snoring device that holds the tongue in a forward position during sleep. This is sometimes accomplished through a ‘suction-like mechanism’ on the device, which sort of grabs the tongue and pulls it forward, or by use of some sort of structure within the device that literally pins the tongue down so that it cannot slip and fall back.

There are quite a few different types of tongue retaining devices on the market… some of which utilize only TRD technology to help with the snoring problem, and some of which also incorporate other elements into the device as well. For example, there are some devices out there that blend the idea of the tongue retaining device with the idea behind the mandibular advancement device, etc.

How Is A Tongue Retaining Device Meant To Work?

The concept behind these devices is actually pretty simple. Most snoring occurs when the soft palate, in the back of the throat, relaxes during sleep… thereby partially (or completely) blocking off the airway. When this happens, air travelling in and out can cause the tissue to vibrate. This is what causes snoring, and it can also contribute to a sleep apnea problem as well, in some people.

How Tongue Retaining Devices Work

Part of what makes this problem so bad is that the tongue can tend to fall backwards into the throat, further blocking the airway and creating even more vibration than usual.

So, Tongue Retaining Devices help by keeping the tongue pulled forward during sleep. This lessens the chances of soft palate vibration, creates more room for air to move through the airway, and does a pretty good job of preventing snoring. Some of these devices can even help in sleep apnea in some cases… though there are not many that have been clinically tested for it.

Do We Believe That This Method / Product Works?

Obviously, whether or not a product will work for you depends more upon your specific case than it does the idea behind the product… though it is also true that some products just simply work better for more different cases of snoring than others.

The most common cause of snoring is soft-palate vibration… so devices/products that treat this type of snoring are, by default, going to probably get better results than products that treat other types of snoring. Snoring resulting from nasal congestion, for example, may require a different type of product to treat, etc.

But, with that being said, we have found that Tongue Retaining Devices do tend to work really well, in the grand scheme of things. They are one of the more popular anti snoring products on the market, and for good reason. They treat soft palate vibration snoring by keeping the tongue pulled forward – and this tends to be a pretty effective method of treatment.

The Positives

The main upsides to this product are as follows…

  • It tends to work well in a lot of cases
  • It is pretty inexpensive
  • It is easy to find and most of them don’t require special fitting
  • Because it helps to treat soft palate vibration, there is also a chance that it could help with sleep apnea

The Negatives

Obviously, as with any product, there are also a few negatives associated with the Tongue Retaining Device…

  • It is a little bit invasive in the sense that you need to keep it in your mouth whenever you sleep
  • It can be difficult to adjust to
  • In particularly troublesome cases of snoring, it might not provide as much help as a mandibular advancement device
  • It can cause a bit of soreness and dryness in the tongue, especially at first

Who Should Wear It, And When Should It Be Worn?

A lot of these products are made specifically for adults, ages 18 and over. So anyone in that age range could definitely make use of them. Unlike mandibular advancement devices, which have a few restrictions for who can wear them, the Tongue Retaining Device can pretty much be worn by anyone.

As far as when it should be worn – your best bet, with this type of device, is to wear it consistently every night. It can take a while for you to get used to how it feels and works… and for the first few nights, it may even cause a bit of soreness or dryness.

But for the most part, a lot of people overcome these issues within the first two weeks.

Who Should Avoid This Type Of Device?

People who have a tongue that is too short to reach outside of the lips comfortably will probably not benefit much from this type of a device, as this would tend to keep it from working properly without a lot of discomfort.

Nasal obstruction explained

The device also tends to not work so well with people who deal with a lot of nasal obstruction. Since a lot of these types of devices actually promote nasal breathing as well, blocked nasal passages could lead to an even worse problem, as it would make breathing in-general a more difficult endeavor.

Final Thoughts

All things considered, the tongue retaining device is actually one of our favorite types of stop-snoring devices. If you are looking for a device with a relatively proven track record that has a really good chance of helping you with your snoring problem, then this is probably a category of devices that you should be looking seriously at.

They are also less invasive than MADs, but still operate with a similar basic principle… making them an awesome option for people who are intimidated by full-sized mouthpieces.

 

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