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Tried oral device for two weeks, still waking up

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ReservedWhiteKangaroo6396 +0 points · about 7 years ago Original Poster

Ok, I'm posting this after not getting responses lately but hopefully someone will be willing to help this time. I would really appreciate some advice or help, please.

I've gotten an oral device for my mild sleep apnea two weeks ago. The first week, it was hurting so I had to go back a week later for an adjustment. For a week now, I've been using it without discomfort or pain but I'm still waking up. Is there any reasons why the oral device may not be working for someone with mild sleep apnea? I thought it was because I had to get used to it but I feel like now, I'm getting used to it and last night when I woke up, I remember (barely) biting on the device. I read that grinding and sleep apnea can be related so I suppose I'm biting because I needed to wake up. I may have bitten or grinded on the device before but don't remember. I already have a follow up appt with the sleep dentist in about a couple of weeks but I'm wondering if I should call him now and tell him I don't think the oral device is working or just wait longer and get used it more? Can he make adjustment so I'm not biting or grinding on it or something to it so I can stop waking up? I have to wonder if my sleep apnea just went from mild to severe. I had the sleep study back in early November and they said it was mild but it's early February now so I wonder if the sleep apnea is severe and I have to consider other options like CPAP. Can your sleep apnea go from mild to severe later or just stay mild?

Thanks and I look forward to getting some help here.

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DrTonySoileau +0 points · about 7 years ago

I will offer you my advice but you may not like it. If you want your dental appliance to work you must learn patience, learn to communicate with your sleep dentist, and accept that there may be many appointments with him before you are sleeping great. It just is what it is. Same for a CPAP.

I have some patients that I just cant help because they want an instant remedy. They prefer to just take a pill and fall asleep. Wake up and take a pill to get through the day. They switch to a CPAP and get frustrated because turning on the power and putting on the mask is not instantly working. The truth is sometimes life is not that simple.

First you need to think in terms of your just now starting treatment. A dental device that is not fitting well is not helping you. Now that it is fitting you can begin treatment. So you need to forget the past few weeks and move forward from here. Just like the air can be turned higher or lower with a CPAP the same is true for a dental appliance. Your appliance will needed to be adjusted SLOWLY over the next few weeks and maybe a month or two until the base of your tongue does not fall into your throat. You have proven to yourself that you clench and grind your teeth. If the appliance is not adjusted SLOWLY you will have tension in your muscles again. The reality is your muscles may not let the appliance bring your jaw forward enough. This is why I have an in house massage therapist work on all my patients several times over the first few weeks. The muscles may need help letting go. You may need to consider massage/physical therapy/ chiropractic therapy to help your muscles relax. Or switch to a CPAP. But your clenching and grinding will still be a problem because its not being treated.

You may also have some cortisol/stress/adrenal gland issues to deal with. The dental appliance or CPAP may fix the apnea issue and you still don't sleep very well. Your airway is open. Its no longer the problem. But your hormones are all out of balance.

So my advice is patience and go see your doctor and talk to him.

Dr Tony

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