You have just received your oral sleep apnea/snoring device. Initially, when the appliance is placed in your mouth you will, most likely, find it cumbersome. There will be an increase in salivary flow for the first few weeks of use which will slowly subside. Some patients experience minor gagging or awkwardness swallowing, but these sensations are not permanent. After wearing the appliance all night it is common to have some minor tooth or muscle discomfort. Many patients cannot touch their teeth together normally for up to 45 minutes. If this is a problem, lean on your hand for about 15 minutes each morning, as if you were the statue of “The Thinker” by Rodin. Most patients experience little if any discomfort after a few weeks of adapting to their intra-oral sleep apnea device.
Cleaning your intra-oral sleep apnea appliance should be done each morning with a toothbrush and toothpaste, brushing all surfaces – inside and out. Use of ORAL SAFE appliance cleaner is a very effective product and is available from Great Lakes Laboratories. Soft appliances may be stored dry.
The appliances can cause soft tissue irritation, minor tooth movement (lower anterior crowding) and, occasionally, it can dislodge ill-fitting crowns and fillings in the area where the metal clasps hold on to the teeth. If you experience significant joint or muscle pain lasting more than 2 hours or requiring analgesic medication, discontinue use of the appliance and call my office at (888)429-8157 and make an appointment for reevaluation. Routine appointments for adjustment of the device consist of a series of appointments over 3-4 months.
A small percentage of patients actually increase their number of apneic and hypopneic events when using an oral appliance. If your symptoms seem to increase, contact my office immediately.
Be careful that you do not leave the appliance anywhere that a pet can reach it. Dogs find them wonderful chew toys and replacement of the appliance is not covered by medical insurance. Do not leave it in a car on a hot day, or in your luggage when flying.
If you have any questions about the use and care of you intra-oral sleep apnea / snoring device please do not hesitate to bring them to my attention at your next appointment or by calling (888) 429-8157.