Request Request Appointment Contact Our Offices

Getting Used to Your New Oral Appliance

September 26, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — sleepsolutionstopeka @ 2:00 pm
Oral sleep appliance on a black background

You’ve recently gotten an oral appliance in Topeka as a solution for your sleep apnea. While it’s certainly less noisy and bulky than a CPAP machine would be, you can’t help but notice that it’s been causing a number of inconveniences, such as excessive drooling and notable tightness whenever you wear it. The good news is that such symptoms are only temporary and will fade after you’ve properly adjusted. Here’s what you can expect when you first start wearing an oral appliance and how you can help yourself get used to its presence.

How Will Your Body React to a New Oral Appliance?

Wearing an oral appliance at night will feel strange at first due to the way your body reacts. The first thing you’re likely to notice is that the appliance feels tight and uncomfortable. The tightness is actually a good thing since it means that the appliance won’t fall out on its own while you’re asleep, but it can still be disconcerting at first. Furthermore, your mouth will likely produce more saliva than usual in response to the object inside your mouth. Some patients with strong gag reflexes find that they have a difficult time putting their appliances in, and others find that they unconsciously remove them while sleeping, with some even throwing them to the other side of the room.

How Can You Get Used to Your Appliance?

The most surefire way to help your body get used to your oral appliance is simply to wear it consistently. This gives the brain a chance to adjust to the sensations, and eventually it will just block out the feelings of discomfort and tightness. Drooling and unconscious removals should eventually stop as well. It normally takes about 2 to 3 weeks of wearing an oral appliance to fully adjust.

If you have a gag reflex that’s interfering with your ability to wear the appliance, you may need to take a little more initiative to help your body overcome the issue. Wearing the appliance for short periods of time during the day can also help. During these “practice sessions”, focus on breathing through your nose and letting your body relax. Eventually, you should get to the point where your gag reflex is no longer an obstacle.

What If You Don’t Adjust?

If the issues discussed above are still occurring after 3 weeks, it could mean that your oral appliance was improperly made to begin with. Contact your sleep dentist in Topeka right away; they can adjust the appliance so that it fits properly. In extreme cases, they may just need to replace the appliance altogether.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re having trouble with your oral appliance. The benefit of stopping the ill effects of sleep apnea significantly outweighs any initial issues you might have during the adjustment process. Take whatever steps are needed to ensure that oral appliance therapy is a success!

About the Author

Dr. Michael E. Michel opened his first dental office in Topeka in 1981. He’s pursued advanced training and continuing education in order to improve his expertise in dental sleep medicine so that he can help his patients overcome sleep apnea. He offers personalized oral appliances that are designed based on each patient’s unique oral structures. To schedule a consultation with him at Sleep Solutions by Michel Dental, visit his website or call (785) 273-0802.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.