What are the side effects of oral appliance therapy?

This question was asked in Stockton, Iowa on 08/13/2013.
Are there any potential side effects from oral appliance therapy? If I get some sort of dental device to treat my sleep apnea, could it possibly change my teeth positioning or jaw for good?

Doctors Answers (3)

Timothy J. Delcambre, DDS, MHA
Answered on: 8/14/2013

There are potential side effects of oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (O.S.A.) A change in tooth positioning may occur if you have periodontitis with loss of bone support for your teeth. A change in jaw positioning may occur if you have temporomandibular dysfunction or TMJ. An evaluation by a dentist who makes oral appliances for O.S.A. will determine if you are a candidate for such an appliance. Having this appliance made by a properly-educated dentist should prevent or diminish any of the side effects.

Faryl K. Hart, DDS
Answered on: 8/14/2013

Potential side effects from oral appliance therapy are mainly jaw pain or discomfort and tooth movement. Jaw pain is usually of limited duration. Tooth movement is also a possibility; a retainer could be made that would decrease this possibility. Also consider the consequences of not treating your obstructive sleep apnea.

Joseph Lee, DDS, FICOI
Answered on: 8/14/2013

Some common side effects of oral appliance therapy are jaw soreness, excessive salivation, and minor teeth movement. Research has shown that these side effects are usually well tolerated by the patients and usually are not much of a concern relative to treatment for their sleep apnea. Every person has their individual concerns, so if this causes you concern, then you should talk to your dentist before proceeding.