Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3434470 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 25, 1969
Filing dateMay 27, 1966
Priority dateMay 27, 1966
Publication numberUS 3434470 A, US 3434470A, US-A-3434470, US3434470 A, US3434470A
InventorsStrickland James C
Original AssigneeStrickland James C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Snore inhibiting device
US 3434470 A
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 25', 1969 SNORE INHIBITING DEVICE Filed May 27, 1966 INVENTOR. JAMES C. STRICKLAND BY J. c. STRICKLAND 3,434,470

ATTORNEYS United States Patent Ofice 3,434,470 Patented Mar. 25, 1969 3,434,470 SNORE INHIBITING DEVICE James C. Strickland, 181 Walter Hays Drive, Palo Alto, Calif. 94303 Filed May 27, 1966, Ser. No. 553,332 Int. Cl. A61f 5/56 US. Cl. 128136 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to an oral device used to prevent snoring and, more particularly, to such a device adapted to be fitted on the upper teeth.

The invention resides in a plate adapted to be positioned within the mouth and in the U-shaped space defined by the upper teeth. The plate has mounting structure which releasably grips the upper teeth so that the plate is removably maintained in this space. In this position, the plate considerably reduces the effective volume of the air flow passage through the mouth. Thus, less air can flow through the mouth in either direction. As a result, snoring is substantially eliminated since the snoring is a function of the volume rate of flow of air through the mouth. A portion of the air flow inhaled and exhaled must therefore be directed through the nose in bypassing relationship to the mouth, a condition which is to be desired to minimize snoring.

Snoring occurs when the uvula and the soft palate at the back of the mouth vibrate in response to the flow of air past these tissues. It has been reasoned that snoring will be minimized or eliminated if air flow through the mouth is inhibited. With this end in view, anti-snore devices in the past have generally been of a construction which completely blocks the air flow through the mouth. All inhaled and exhaled air thus has to travel through the nose so that the vibratory tissues which cause snoring remain substantially unaffected by the air flow.

The prior devices are not satisfactory because they are cumbersome in the mouth and are uncomfortable to the user. To be efiective, they must be custom made since teeth configurations vary between individual users. To reduce the size of the device to avoid discomfort would increase the danger of swallowing the device during use.

The present device overcome the disadvantages of the prior structures by providing a device of simple and rugged construction which is effective in minimizing or substantially eliminating a snoring condition even though it only partially restricts the air flow through the mouth. Thus, the desired result is attained without causing the user to sufier the discomfort which arises from completely blocking the mouth. The device also does not interfere with tongue movements and it is safe to use in that it cannot be swallowed nor can it cause harm to the teeth or gums. The device can be produced at minimum cost with readily available, inexpensive materials and through the use of well-known techniques. It can be used over and over again and can be easily sterilized for re-use. The device is adjustable so that it can fit in the mouths of different individuals and can be used by children as well as adults.

It is therefore the primary object of this invention to provide an oral device to prevent snoring wherein the presence of the device within the mouth reduces the volume of the effective air passage therethrough to reduce the volume rate of air flow through the mouth and thereby minimize the vibrations of tissues which generally cause a snoring condition.

Another object of the invention is to provide a device of the type described which does not cause discomfort to the user or harm the teeth or gums during use.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a device of the type described which is adjustable in size so that it can be used by different individuals having respective upper teeth mouth configurations.

A further object of the invention is to provide a snorepreventing device which is simple nad rugged in construction, is inexpensive to produce from materials rendering it usable over and over again, and is of a size which cannot be swallowed during sleep.

Other objects of this invention will become apparent as the following specification progresses, reference being had and to the accompanying drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the device;

FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view of the device looking in the direction of lines 22; and

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1.

A preferred embodiment of the device is denoted by the numeral 10 and includes a tooth-engaging member 12 to which a flat plate 14 is coupled. Member 12 is U-shaped to conform to the generally U-shaped configuration of the upper teeth and defines a pair of spaced, opposed sides 14 interconnected by a bight 16. Sides 14 and bight 16 are formed from a yieldable material and are transversely U-shaped as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 to define a tooth-receiving groove 18 the width of which is such as to permit member 12 to frictionally engage the upper teeth when device 10 is in the mouth. Thus, member 12 may be releasably positioned on the upper teeth with the front teeth in the portion of groove 18 defined by bight 16 and the side teeth in the grooved portions defined by sides 14. Member 12 has a construction similar to that of tooth protectors used in certain sports. Preferably, rubber or a suitable plastic material is used to form member 12 to provide the yieldable characteristics therefor. The yieldability of member 12 will permit it to be fitted on various sets of teeth.

Plate 14 fills the U-shaped, planar space defined by sides 14 and bight 16. To provide for adjustability of device 10, plate 14 has a pair of relatively shiftable plate sections 20 and 22, which are connected to member 12 and are disposed in overlapping relationship to each other. Each section has an arcuate outer peripheral edge 24 rigidly connected to the adjacent portion of the inner peripheral surface 26 of member 12. Each edge 24 extends from an outer location 28 adjacent to the corresponding side 14 to an inner location 30 as shown in FIG. 1. A continuation 32 of each edge 24 is spaced inwardly from peripheral surface 26 to allow member 12 to be deformed sufiiciently to fit a particular set of upper teeth.

Edges 24 may be bonded by a suitable adhesive to member 12 or may be integrally secured thereto such as by molding member 12 and plate sections 20 and 22 in the same molding process. In either case, plate 14 effectively closes the space defined by the U-shaped configuration of member 12.

In use, device 10 is put into the mouth and placed on the upper teeth. Fitting of the device may be required and this can be accomplished by deforming or manipulating member 12 until it substantially conforms to the U-shaped configuration of the teeth. The overlapping, relatively shiftable feature of plate sections 20 and 22, as well as the yieldability of member 12 permits this fitting to be accomplished.

Since member 12 frictionally engages the teeth, it cannot be dislodged during sleep. Moreover, it is sufficiently large that it will not be swallowed.

In its operative disposition, plate 14 reduces the volume of the air passage through the mouth and causes all inhaled air to pass beneath its under surface. This is because sections 20 and 22 isolate the region above plate 14 with the region therebelow. Thus, any air above the plate must first pass downwardly about the rearmost edges 34 of sections 20 and 22 before it can be expelled from the mouth.

By reducing the volume of the air flow passage through the mouth, the volume rate of flow of air is reduced. Thus, a certain portion of air must pass into, through and out of the nose. Since snoring is a function of the total volume of air being inhaled and exhaled through the mouth, it follows that snoring will be minimized or substantially eliminated by this volume reduction in the mouth. This resistance to complete air flow through the mouth inhibits the build-up of resonant tissue vibrations which are the source of the snoring condition.

Device can also be used on denture plates as well as natural teeth. It can be used by children as well as adults and can be used over and over again without replacement. It is easily sterilized since plate sections and 22 can be separated slightly for cleaning purposes.

While one embodiment of this invention has been shown and described, it will be apparent that other adaptations and modifications can be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. For use in preventing snoring, an oral device comprising: a plate; and means coupled with the plate for mounting the same within the mouth and on the upper teeth with the plate being disposed in spaced relationship below the roof of the mouth and being of a size to substantially fill the U-shaped space defined by the upper teeth, whereby substantially all of the air fiow through the mouth will pass beneath the plate when the same is mounted on the upper teeth.

2. An oral device as set forth in claim 1, wherein said plate has a pair of relatively shiftable, generally overlapping sections, said mounting means being deformable, whereby said device is adjustable in size.

3. An oral device as set forth in claim 1, wherein said mounting means includes a tooth gripping member having an inner, arcuate surface, said plate having an outer peripheral edge complemental with and rigidly secured to said inner surface.

4. An oral device as set forth in claim 1, wherein said mounting means includes a U-shaped member of deformable material having a pair of sides and a bight interconnecting said sides, said bight and said sides being transversely U-shaped to define an arcuate, tooth-receiving groove having an open, upper extremity, the groove having a width to permit the member to frictionally engage the upper teeth and thereby releasably maintain the member on said upper teeth, said plate having a pair of relatively shiftable sections secured to the member, whereby the device can be adjusted in size by deforming said member.

5. For use in preventing snoring, an oral device comprising a U-shaped member of deformable material having a pair of spaced sides, a bight interconnecting the sides and an arcuate surface defining the inner peripheral boundary of said sides and said bight, said sides and said bight being transversely U-shape to define an arcuate, tooth-receiving groove having an open upper extremity, whereby the member can be placed in the mouth and on the upper teeth with the front and side teeth being received within the portions of said groove defined by said bight and said sides respectively, the width of the groove being of a value to permit the member to frictionally engage the upper teeth; and a pair of plate sections having arcuate outer peripheral edges secured to and complemental with respective portions of said inner peripheral surface, said plate sections extending inwardly of said inner peripheral surface into dispositions overlapping each other and filling the planar space defined by said bight and said sides, said plate sections being relatively shiftable to permit the member to be deformed and thereby changed in size to fit any one of a number of sets of upper teeth.

6. An oral device as set forth in claim 5, wherein said plate sections are molded to said member.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,800,898 7/ 1957 Greenblum 128136 2,531,222 11/1950 Kesling 3214 3,132,647 5/1964 Corniello 128136 ADELE M. EAGER, Primary Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R. 32-14

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2531222 *Nov 25, 1946Nov 21, 1950Kesling Harold DTooth positioning appliance
US2800898 *Dec 7, 1955Jul 30, 1957Greenblum Louis LMouth shield
US3132647 *Apr 19, 1962May 12, 1964Giuseppe CornielloAnti-snoring device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3871370 *Jul 5, 1973Mar 18, 1975Mcdonald Lee ETongue-thrust correction appliance
US4380888 *Feb 27, 1981Apr 26, 1983Raymond M. WilliamsMouthplate for horses or the like
US4901737 *Apr 13, 1987Feb 20, 1990Toone Kent JMethod and therapeutic apparatus for reducing snoring
US5003994 *Oct 10, 1989Apr 2, 1991Cook George WOral appliance for improving breathing and methods of using and making same
US5056534 *May 2, 1990Oct 15, 1991Wright David W RSnore inhibiting device
US5154184 *Sep 16, 1991Oct 13, 1992Alvarez Ramiro MAdjustable anti-snoring apparatus
US5267862 *Jan 8, 1993Dec 7, 1993Parker Jonathan AIntraoral appliance
US5313960 *Nov 4, 1992May 24, 1994Marc S. BernsteinApparatus and method for reducing snoring and method of making same
US5323786 *May 27, 1992Jun 28, 1994Irene JuhaszDigit positioning device for X-rays
US5373859 *Apr 19, 1993Dec 20, 1994Forney; Leroy S.Tongue positioning device
US5427117 *Sep 29, 1993Jun 27, 1995Thornton; W. KeithDental device
US5458105 *Oct 6, 1993Oct 17, 1995The Sharper Image CorporationWrist worn anti-snore apparatus for detecting snoring and for producing vibratory motion
US5467783 *Dec 6, 1994Nov 21, 1995Meade; Thomas E.Apparatus and method for the reduction of snoring
US5499633 *Mar 28, 1994Mar 19, 1996Fenton; Douglas F.Anti-snoring device with adjustable upper and lower relational members
US5537994 *Jun 3, 1994Jul 23, 1996Thornton; W. KeithCombination face mask and dental device for improved breathing during sleep
US5562106 *Apr 28, 1995Oct 8, 1996Heeke; David W.Dental appliance for relief of snoring and method of making same
US5566683 *Mar 24, 1995Oct 22, 1996Thornton; W. KeithDental device
US5570704 *Dec 20, 1994Nov 5, 1996Snoreless CorpUniversal, user-adjustable oral cavity appliance to control snoring and reduce episodes of obstructive sleep apnea
US5678567 *Sep 18, 1995Oct 21, 1997Thornton; W. KeithApparatus for adjusting a dental device
US5682903 *Apr 12, 1995Nov 4, 1997Meade; Thomas E.Apparatus and method for the reduction of snoring
US5755219 *May 14, 1996May 26, 1998Thornton; W. KeithDevice for improving breathing
US5829441 *Jun 24, 1997Nov 3, 1998Nellcor Puritan BennettCustomizable dental device for snoring and sleep apnea treatment
US5915385 *Apr 2, 1997Jun 29, 1999Hakimi; FarhadSnore and stress relieving device
US5954048 *Apr 16, 1997Sep 21, 1999Thornton; W. KeithDevice and method for improving breathing
US5983892 *Jun 19, 1997Nov 16, 1999Thornton; W. KeithDevice for improving breathing
US6155262 *Jan 21, 1997Dec 5, 2000Thornton; W. KeithMethod and apparatus for adjusting a dental device
US6209542Jan 31, 1996Apr 3, 2001W. Keith ThorntonCombination face mask and dental device for improved breathing during sleep
US6247926Jan 17, 2000Jun 19, 2001W. Keith ThorntonOral appliance having a bonding layer and methods for fitting and relining same
US6305376Sep 9, 1999Oct 23, 2001W. Keith ThorntonDevice and method for improving breathing
US6374824Apr 12, 1999Apr 23, 2002W. Keith ThorntonDevice for improving breathing
US6405729Apr 5, 2000Jun 18, 2002W. Keith ThorntonOral appliance for improving breathing and method of constructing same
US6464924Apr 5, 2000Oct 15, 2002W. Keith ThorntonHomopolymer of caprolactone initiated with a diol
US6516805Mar 31, 1997Feb 11, 2003W. Keith ThorntonApparatus for prevention of snoring and improved breathing during sleep
US6571798Apr 5, 2000Jun 3, 2003W. Keith ThorntonDevice for improving breathing and method of constructing same
US6675802May 8, 2001Jan 13, 2004W. Keith ThorntonDevice for improving breathing incorporating a detachable venting seal
US6857428Oct 24, 2002Feb 22, 2005W. Keith ThorntonApplying a deformable mask sheet against a portion of the user's face surrounding nostrils and fitting to facial bone structure and features; allowing to become nondeformable; sleep disordered breathing; snoring; obstructive sleep apnea
US7174895May 1, 2003Feb 13, 2007W. Keith ThorntonDevice and method for improving a user's breathing
US7243650Jul 12, 2004Jul 17, 2007Thornton W KeithCustom fitted mask configured for coupling to an external gas supply system and method of forming same
US7597103Feb 13, 2007Oct 6, 2009W. Keith ThorntonDevice and method for improving a user's breathing
US7677889Jul 30, 2007Mar 16, 2010Thornton W KeithDevice and method for forming a custom oral appliance
US7721741May 22, 2009May 25, 2010Thornton W KeithOral appliance for treating a breathing condition
US7748386Apr 6, 2006Jul 6, 2010Thornton W KeithOral appliance for treating a breathing condition
US7963284Aug 18, 2004Jun 21, 2011Airway Technologies, LlcCustom fitted mask and method of forming same
US8020276Nov 29, 2007Sep 20, 2011Airway Technologies, LlcSystem and method for custom-orienting a medical mask to an oral appliance
US8236216Jun 26, 2007Aug 7, 2012Airway Technologies, LlcSystem and method for forming a custom medical mask using an orientation device
US8316857Jun 7, 2010Nov 27, 2012Airway Technologies, LlcOral appliance for treating a breathing condition
US8316858Jun 7, 2010Nov 27, 2012Airway Technologies, LlcSystem for coupling an oral appliance to a medical mask
US8356603Jul 2, 2010Jan 22, 2013Airway Technologies, LlcOral appliance for treating a breathing condition
US8573224Sep 28, 2010Nov 5, 2013Airway Technologies, LlcCustom-molded oral appliance and method of forming
US8607796Feb 25, 2010Dec 17, 2013Airway Technologies, LlcApparatus and method for coupling an oral appliance to a gas delivery device
US8662084Apr 5, 2011Mar 4, 2014Airway Technologies, LlcUniversal oral appliance with a universal coupler
US8671946Apr 5, 2011Mar 18, 2014Airway Technologies, LlcCustom dental appliance and method of creating a custom dental appliance
EP0298649A1 *Jun 29, 1988Jan 11, 1989David William Robert WrightSnore inhibiting device
EP0312368A1 *Oct 13, 1988Apr 19, 1989HAYS & MEADE, INC.A device for preventing snoring
WO1992011827A1 *Jan 3, 1992Jul 23, 1992Scott E FeldmanAnti-snore device
Classifications
U.S. Classification128/848, 433/6
International ClassificationA61F5/56
Cooperative ClassificationA61F5/566
European ClassificationA61F5/56B