The following questions are frequently asked.
Q: How do I know my oral appliance therapy is working?
A: There are 3 ways to judge if the oral appliance is working:
- You feel better; your symptoms improve, such as a reduction in snoring, more daytime energy.
- Measuring oxygen levels in the body. This is done with a device called an overnight pulse/oximeter that is worn on the finger all night while wearing the oral appliance.
- A sleep study while wearing the oral appliance. Patients return to their physician for an overnight sleep study, either at home or in the sleep lab while wearing their appliance.
Q: Why hasn’t my snoring stopped?
A: Heavy snoring is caused by the constant vibration of the soft tissues in the back of one’s mouth while in deep sleep. The vibration of these tissues is traumatic and causes them to swell. The healing of these tissues can take many days to many weeks. Sometimes the oral appliance needs to be adjusted for better snoring reduction. The objective when it comes to snoring is to stop it completely. Your clinical team should be informed of your continued snoring so that it can be addressed.
Q: When will my snoring stop?
A: Everyone heals at a different rate. Healing from sleep apnea and loud snoring can take time but eventually the expectation is for the snoring to stop. Be patient.
Q: Why does my mouth continue to be dry?
A: Dry mouth is caused by the mouth dropping open during sleep. The opening of the mouth is often associated with snoring. To treat this, most oral appliances have small hooks for elastics to be added to encourage the mouth to stay closed. Wearing properly adjusted elastics can eliminate the snoring and dry mouth.
Q: What do I do if my appliance falls out of my mouth?
A: If the appliance falls out then it should be tightened. Oral appliances are designed with the ability to be tightened. It is not unusual for appliances to loosen. The remedy requires a quick and easy adjustment.
Q: How does the need for dental work impact dental appliance therapy?
A: Many dental sleep appliances are designed to be adjusted after dental treatment is done. The adjustments should be done by the dental sleep medicine specialist, not the general dentist doing the dentistry. Remember that sleep apnea is treated to improve quality of life and support health; even to save lives in some cases. Treating sleep apnea should not be delayed or suspended if dental work is planned or in process.
Q: I have dentures, can I get a dental device?
A: Yes, dental devices for sleep apnea can be made for patients wearing full or removable partial dentures.
Q: I am a gagger. Will I be able to get the impressions done and wear the appliance?
A: We have the latest in new techniques for taking impressions. The appliances can be custom designed to accommodate people with severe gag reflexes.
Q:I have a pre-existing TMJ condition. Will it make my TMJ problem worse?
A: No. the appliance for sleep apnea may in fact improve your condition as it moves the jaw into a similar position as many TMJ therapeutic devices.
Have another question? Call or email us. We will be happy to answer any question you may have.