If you suffer from sleep apnea, one of the common treatments that your dentist may suggest is for you to be fitted with mandibular advancement device (MAD). These devices push your lower jaw slightly forward while you sleep, helping to keep your airways open and allowing you to sleep more comfortably and safely. However, as with all treatments for sleep apnea, a MAD may cause certain side effects. Below are some common side effects and how you can deal with them.
Altered Bite or Movement of Teeth
The MAD is meant to slightly adjust the position of your entire lower jaw. However, it does so by putting pressure on your teeth. Over time, this can cause an altered bite and some movement of your teeth. To avoid this, you should start with the smallest MAD available for your mouth. You may also consider a specific MAD called a Thornton Adjustable Postitioner (TAP), which allows you to control exactly how your jaw is positioned.
A MAD can cause your lips to become stretched and tight, which can make them become dry overnight and eventually they may crack or bleed. To alleviate this, keep a lip moisturizer near your bed to apply before you go to sleep. Avoid lip moisturizers that have glycerin, camphor, or hyaluronic acid, as these can make your dry lips worse and require several applications throughout the night. Instead, opt for lip balms made of shea butter, oils, and beeswax, which help to seal in moisture.
A MAD can be difficult to get used to and can cause some pain or discomfort when you first start wearing it. To avoid this, make sure your dentist shows you how to properly fit and wear your MAD. Additionally, try wearing it for a short period before bedtime when you are still awake and can make adjustments. Try to wear it every night for the first week so you can adjust to it. If you are still experiencing pain, talk to your dentist about getting fitted with a different shape or smaller model.
It is natural to produce more saliva when there is a foreign object in your mouth. However, excessive saliva can cause troubled sleeping, negating the positive effects of your MAD. To reduce saliva, you may want to reduce sugar and fat in your diet. If it becomes a big problem, you can wear a patch at night to help minimize saliva production or be fitted with a new device.Share