Tongue Retaining Devices

A tongue retention device (also known as a tongue stabilization device, or TSD) is an anti-snoring device that holds your tongue forward during sleep. This keeps it from falling backwards into the throat, and is said to do a lot to help prevent incidences of snoring.

How are Tongue Retaining Devices Meant to Work?

TSDs are basically small mouthpieces that you keep in your mouth during sleep. They may remind you a little bit of mandibular advancement devices, except that they tend to be smaller, and do not advance the entire jawline like MADs are designed to do.

Instead, most of them use a suction-technology to keep the tongue pulled forward during sleep instead. This keeps the tongue from falling backwards during the night, which can block the airway and cause problems during sleep. But it can also keep the upper airway more ‘stretched out,’ which will help to keep it from collapsing in on itself, which is a predominant cause of snoring.

Image showing how Tongue Retaining Devices are meant to work

TSDs are very similar to MADs, though we believe that they are actually a little bit better, since they offer the same basic type of anti-snoring aid without being quite as large or invasive.

Do We Believe That Tongue Retaining Devices Can Help?

Not only do we truly believe that these types of devices can help, but we also firmly believe that they may be the best type of ‘at-home’ snoring therapy on the market. These devices are small, minimally invasive, easy to use, and take a lot less getting-used-to than MADs, which makes them pretty awesome.

Tongue Retaining Devices can help

Some of our favorite devices on the market actually fall into this category.

What We Like

We like that TSDs are small. We like that they are less invasive than MADs. We like that many of them are backed up by sound science, and that some of them have gone through legitimate clinical testing. We also like that they give you the same basic benefits provided by MADs, but with far fewer downsides. 

What We Dislike

The biggest downside to these types of devices is that they still require you to put something in your mouth before going to sleep. They also require you to keep the device in your mouth during the course of the night… and this makes them more ‘invasive’ than products like nasal strips or stop-snoring pillows.

We also dislike how, sometimes, TSDs are not quite as effective as some types of MADs, because the effect that they cause in the upper airway is not quite as drastic. 

If you’re not sure whether or not this type of a device would work for you then please refer to our snoring test.

Who Could Benefit From a Product Like This?

The type of person who is mostly likely to benefit from a Tongue Retaining Device is a person who…

  • Snores regularly
  • Doesn’t mind the idea of keeping a device in their mouth through the course of the night
  • Doesn’t mind paying a little bit for a good snoring solution
  • Doesn’t mind taking some time getting used to a new product that may slightly irritate their tongue at first

Who Should Avoid Using This Type of Product?

If you are not willing to push through a slightly sore tongue to get used to this type of product, then it is probably too invasive for you. You will also not be able to use this product if you cannot breathe through your mouth while sleeping.

MADs are often not a possible choice for people who wear dentures, for people with loose teeth, or for people with weak teeth. But TSDs are actually able to be worn in all of these scenarios… so that is a definite upside!

Consumer Views Found Online

In researching this type of product online, we were happy to find quite a few positive reviews for most of the predominant devices on the market.

The biggest complaint about it tends to be that devices in this category can be difficult to get used to. But really, the vast majority of people who have tried them have liked them.

How Much Should I Spend Buying a Tongue Retaining Device?

We’ve noticed that the best price-range for these products seems to be in the $80-$120 range, with the sweet spot being around $100. If you spend about $100 on a TSD, you should be able to get something that will really work, provide you with a guarantee, and be backed by clinical research.

TSD mouthpiece

Paying more than $120 for a product like this is probably going to be overkill, and will likely not result in you getting much more for your money than you would have gotten for $100.

What are the Alternatives?

If you feel like you need a more serious alternative to this type of product, than a mandibular advancement device is an obvious option. You could also try a stop snoring chin-strap if you are not interested in the idea of putting something in your mouth.

If you feel like you need to breathe through your nose more, you can try nasal dilators or nasal strips—but they tend to be far less effective than TSDs in most cases.

Conclusion

TSDs are among our favorite types of stop snoring products, and for good reason. They are consistently shown to work in clinical trials. They offer a very middle-of-the-line experience in the sense that they offer both good results and a minimally-invasive design. And, they are pretty inexpensive as far as stop snoring product go.

Plus, you will not have to replace them very often, which is another huge upside. They also sidestep some of the most common pitfalls of MADs by giving you the option to wear them even if your teeth aren’t very good—and that is a huge bonus.

True, they are not a good choice for mouth breathers, but we still see them as a pretty solid choice in most cases.