Side Effects of Sleep Apnea Devices

Sleep Apnea is a serious disorder that interrupts an individual’s breathing while they are asleep. Individuals may repeatedly stop breathing and resume again, which is cause for serious alarm. Sleep Dentists are continuously working toward constructive solutions to solve this issue. We have compiled a list of what some may consider the side effects of sleep apnea devices.

Luckily, there are various sleep apnea devices, that when customized by your sleep dentist, it may offer individuals get a good night’s sleep. However, if improperly used, the equipment could result in serious side effects.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

This device consists of a mask that fits over the mouth and nose. It connects to a large cannula tube which is attached to a motor that blows air through the mask.

Although lightweight, the lowered blood pressure and corrected sleep may come with a price. Some patients have reported the following complaints:

  • Dry and sore mouth
  • Nasal problems – congestion, runny nose, sinusitis and nosebleeds
  • Gastric discomfort and bloating
  • Discomfort in the chest muscles
  • Sores due to the mask
  • Agitation due to the mask

On top of that, if you have claustrophobia, this sleep apnea device could be a problem.  Patients who are non-compliant have stated that the mask was difficult to keep on during sleep and they often pulled it off during the night.

Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)

The device follows the pattern of a mouth guard. This dental appliance for sleep apnea attaches to the upper and lower dental arches, with various models allowing movement of the lower jaw. It prevents snoring and teeth grinding.

However, many have complained of the following:

  • Jaw soreness and tension
  • Hypersalivation
  • Mucosal dryness
  • Tooth discomfort
  • Tender gums
  • Skeletal and dental changes due to long term use

If you have braces, wear retainers or dentures, and have delicate gums. Long-term, this treatment may not be the best choice.  Every case is different.  The majority of these devices custom made for each individual to specifically fit the teeth and gums. Consult with your sleep dentist regarding the best choices for your situation.

Tongue Retaining Devices

Similarly constructed to the MADs above, the device has a compartment that fits around the tongue using suction to prevent it from collapsing into the airway.

The following complaints have led researchers to conclude that it’s not such an effective treatment:

  • Excessive salivation
  • Discomfort/sensation of foreign body in the mouth
  • Tension/pain in the tongue
  • Sore mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Jaw tension

Speak to your dentist today to chart out a sustainable treatment for your disorder. There are various brands and models made for sleep apnea.  It is best to consult your sleep specialist for the treatment best suited to your situation and that would give you the most comfort.

After all, sleep deprivation is no one’s friend.

2 thoughts on “Side Effects of Sleep Apnea Devices”

  1. can you please recommend a “Tongue Retaining device” Brand & model (as is stated in the description of the “side effects of sleep apnea devices” section on the chase dental website.
    I’ve been a patient of Dr chase for a couple of years, I’m diaganosed with OSA & the oral appliance does not work well for me. I have to try something !

    1. If you are having a problem with your oral appliance or if it is not working for you, please call the office and speak with Dr. Chase. He would be the one to recommend the best device for you. I wish you the best of luck.

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