Myths About Oral Devices for Sleep Apnea
1. “Oral Devices Do Not Work”~~ In many cases, oral devices are as effective as CPAP. The fact that they are normally worn every single night, all night long increases their effectiveness.
2. “Oral Devices Cause TMJ problems” or “I am not a candidate because of I have TMJ problems” ~~Most patients find that the oral device comfortably positions their lower jaw forward. In addition to the jaw position, the device is designed to help stop clenching and grinding, therefore decreasing pain and dysfunction.
3. “Oral Devices Cause my teeth to shift or cause bite changes”~~ Since the oral device fits like an orthodontic aligner/retainer, there is no chance that the teeth can move while sleeping. When the TMJ relaxes during sleep, chewing gum in the morning or using a “morning repositioner” allows everything to return to normal. Patients report no problems with eating and chewing their food throughout the day.
4. “I grind my teeth, and have to wear a night guard”~~Good news! We have found that grinding activity can occur during episodes of respiratory events. So, treating your sleep apnea and snoring, may help decrease the incidences of grinding. In addition to that, the oral device is covering both your top and bottom teeth, so no more night guard is needed!
5. “My physician will not know how effective my oral device is”~~We update all of your physicians with your progress of your treatment and its effectiveness. We are a valued part of your medical team and work closely with physicians.
6. “I do not want to offend my dentist by seeing someone else”~~Dr. Blalock and her team have spent over 5 years studying about sleep apnea and the treatment with oral devices. She no longer practices general dentistry, so she would be working with your dentist and physician to improve your overall health and wellness.