You may have heard of tongue crib and wondered how effective they are in relieving snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. Tongue cribs (also known as tongue-retaining devices) are not as widely used as chin straps, but they are one alternative to treatment with CPAP machines or surgery, which can be costly and aren’t always successful in eliminating or reducing snoring or sleep apnea symptoms. This article discusses the effectiveness of tongue cribs and where you can find more information about them.
How effective are they ? Let’s say you could pick any part of your body that you wanted to improve and try to stretch it, how would you go about doing it? One way to do it is by using a tongue crib. While there isn’t much scientific data on their effectiveness, some users have been known to use tongue-cribbing as a means of increasing flexibility. As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at what exactly tongue-cribbing is and whether or not it can help.
Benefits of Tongue Crib
While some people might say tongue cribs are a bit of an odd invention, there is actually a reason behind their popularity. Using tongue cribs helps you to stop your mouth from dropping open while you sleep. Tongue cribs essentially resemble large-sized pacifiers that replace your lower teeth and make it impossible for your jaw to drop while you’re asleep. This keeps your tongue in place and prevents snoring or sleep apnea, which can be dangerous if left untreated. Using a tongue crib will ensure that your teeth don’t end up being impacted as well by not having proper control over them during sleep. Additionally, if used correctly, using tongue pillows will help prevent oral sores as well because it stops users from grinding their teeth during sleep.
What do Tongue Cribs Look Like?
These look like tongue depressors. Tongue cribs are often thin wooden sticks with a flat surface on one end that can be made with various textures, including grooves and rasps. The shape is similar to that of a tongue scraper, only smaller and not as wide, which allows you to get a good grip on it. While many look like mouth guards for dentures, these tongue scrapers for humans don’t actually fit over your healthy teeth; rather, you hold them in place against your upper palate with your fingers or lips. Tongue cribs can also come in other shapes such as flatter pieces of hard plastic instead of wood.
ShouldYou get One Yourself?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is not a fan of tongue cribs. The group contends that while other options like jaw repositioning or teeth grinding can cause malocclusion or misalignment, tongue cribs don’t have enough data to show that it works. Tongue sucking can’t correct an underlying condition, according to AAO, and it can create new oral problems such as gingivitis if you have periodontal disease already. But if you have no underlying issues (and your dentist says so), then yes, tongue cribs could work wonders for getting your overbite straightened out quickly.
Final Word on Tongue Crib Effectiveness
Ultimately, I don’t think tongue cribs are necessary. Many of their problems stem from people using a device that doesn’t fit their teeth right and who aren’t getting proper guidance on how to use them. My advice for anyone thinking about getting tongue cribs is to get them made by a licensed orthodontist or dentist who you can visit regularly. Ask plenty of questions, especially if your new set doesn’t seem to be working as advertised. While tongue-cribbing isn’t bad for you, there are better options out there. – Sean Benham, DDS