possible side effects of oral appliance therapy

There are several temporary side effects that are usually most noticeable during the initial week or so. At Louisville Dental Sleep Medicine we make the first follow-up appointment at 2-3 weeks from initial delivery to address these issues early:

  • A feeling of tightness or tension in the jaw muscles.
  • Sore Teeth.
  • Excess Saliva, especially at first.
  • Temporary change in the feel of your bite when the appliance is first removed in the morning.

The goal of treatment at Louisville Dental Sleep Medicine is maximum effect with maximum comfort. That is why follow-up appointments are important in your treatment plan, to adjust anything about the appliance that is needed to get to that goal.

Published Research looking at long term side efects shows:

  • No change in the shape of the jaws.
  • No irreversible stretching of muscles, ligaments or tendons.
  • No individual tooth movements (making teeth crooked).
  • A small change (average a tenth of an inch after 5 years of every night wear) moving all of the lower teeth slightly forward and down compared to all of the upper teeth.

We schedule an annual follow up appointments to monitor appliance integrity, continued performance, and the potential for tooth movement as mentioned above. So far the incidence of this movement has been low. That is why your compliance in keeping your annual appointments is very important. Should tooth movement occur, you would be the decision-maker, weighing whatever movement has occurred versus the benefits in sleep you have been getting.