What to Expect With an Oral Appliance
After the exhaustion and snoring have been resolved and the at home or laboratory sleep study shows good advancement, you will be referred back to our office for a final evaluation and evaluation for any additional follow ups.
Monitoring Progress of Your Oral Appliance Therapy
Similar to the therapy device CPAP, an oral appliance therapy for snoring and sleep apnea is not a cure. You must wear the dental device every night for it to do its job and remain effective. To secure that the appliance continues to provide relief of snoring and sleep apnea your progress should be monitored. Instructions will be given on properply fitting the appliance and any areas that cause distress will be addressed. The goall is to resolve the snoring and exhaustion through repositioning the lower jaw compassionatly.
Tips on Caring for Your Oral Appliance
We can’t stress enough the importance of following the manufacturer’s instructions for your appliance. Oral appliances are fairly simple to care for, simply put you must keep it cleaned regularly. First thing in the morning you brush it with a toothbrush and denture or orthodontic appliance cleaner may also be used but be sure to check with your dentist. Rinse it well and allow it to settle in its case all day with the top open.
Your oral appliance should always be in a place no animal can get to(Dogs love to chew on oral appliance thinking there toys). It should also never be in any extremes of temperature, specifically heat, the appliance may distort. To disinfect and for ultimate maintenance, two times per week the appliance should be soaked for 15 minutes in an ultrasonic cleaning container designed for orthodontic appliances. Examine your appliance often and call the office if you observe any damaged areas.
It is common for patients to be unable to close their teeth completely after a nights sleep. This is a frequent occureance and is a result of a temporary jaw joint change. This will solve itself out within 20 minuts as the joint drifts back to normal position. After 20 minutes jaw exercises may be useful to gain normal joint position and tooth contact. There are multiple exercises one can do. One being clenching the teeth together and holding for several seconds and then releasing and then repeating the clench/release for a minute or so. Another exercise is clenching/releasing on the soft plastic exercise tabs that were provided to you. An additional method is to chew gum while taking a warm shower. Chew and shower for about 10 minutes or until teeth close properly and comfortably.
Side Effects from Oral Appliance Therapy
The majority of side effects from your oral appliance are minor and temporary. They may include dry mouth and increased salivation and tenderness to teeth, muscles, and joints. A permanent bit change may occur over the years for patients. This is in result of a small change in jaw joint position and/or minor tooth movements caused by the pressures place by the appliance at night. If there is any change to your bite it is extremely important to inform your dentist and keep up with evaluation visits. Changes to your bite are most easily managed if discovered in the early stages. We can provide you with the support you need to get the most out of your oral application.