As with any medical treatment, there are possible side effects or complications to dental sleep device therapy. It is safe to say that if one considers the potential ramifications of untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea, most of these side effects should be considered minor.
Dr. Richard Van Gurp is a highly qualified dentist in Charlotte, NC with advanced training in oral appliance therapy. At Carolina Sleep Solutions, we fit highly customized FDA-approved dental sleep devices for patients. The devices we use have been proven through extensive research to significantly reduce or eliminate snoring and effectively treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) thus allowing patients to breathe easier throughout the night.
Side Effects & Complications of Dental Sleep Device Therapy
The most common side effects are:
- Tooth discomfort
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and muscle discomfort
- Tooth movement or bite changes
Dental sleep devices can put pressure on the teeth thus causing temporary soreness. By wearing the device, the teeth will ordinarily adapt and discomfort will be alleviated. Dr. Van Gurp can also make adjustments to the device to reduce and eliminate tooth discomfort.
TMJ (jaw joint) and Muscle Discomfort
Most dental sleep devices work by positioning the lower jaw forward, thus opening the airway. Initially, the patient may experience some discomfort to the jaw joints and muscles. Almost always, this discomfort can be alleviated by adjusting the device to a more comfortable position. On rare occasions, if muscle soreness continues, temporarily discontinuing the device should alleviate symptoms.
Some patients who have an existing TMJ (jaw joint) problem may not be able to wear a dental sleep device, while other patients with TMJ issues may find relief by wearing the device.
Tooth Movement and Bite Changes
Because most dental sleep devices work by positioning the lower jaw forward, they may also put pressure on the teeth and the jaw bone. In turn, this can cause tooth movement and changes in your bite.
Because of Dr. Van Gurp’s advanced training, he will be able to show you jaw exercises that help to minimize this problem. These exercises are simple. They require minimal time and will greatly reduce the likelihood of permanent bite changes.