Dental side effects of an oral device to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea

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    Study Objectives: Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are common and related conditions-with major social and health implications-which can be treated successfully with dental devices that reposition the mandible. Despite wide use, side effects of these devices have not yet been systematically evaluated. The purpose of the study was to evaluate side effects of a mandibular advancement splint (MAS) previously described by the authors.Design: Questionnaire survey and dental examination of a consecutive case series of patients treated with the MASSetting: Dental outpatient clinicPatients: Attempts were made to contact all 191 patients treated over a 5-year period. All had snored loudly and habitually with or without OSA prior to treatment.Measurements and Results: Of 191 patients treated, 132 agreed to complete the questionnaire. All were scheduled to attend for dental examination and 106 underwent examination. Of the 132 interviewed, patient and partner report indicated that the device was well tolerated and controlled snoring satisfactorily in 100 after 31 +/- 18 (mean +/- SD) months of use. Dental side effects were reported in 107 patients, although these were mostly minor, and only 10 patients ceased using the device because of them. Side effects included excess salivation (in 40), xerostomia (in 30), temporomandibular joint pain (in 35), dental discomfort (in 35), myofacial discomfort (in 33) and bite changes (in 16). Of 106 patients examined, 30 had increased maximal opening and 76 had no change compared with pretreatment records. Temporomandibular joint noises were found in 9 patients, and occlusal changes (12 m mylar strip and wax bite, relative to pretreatment) in 15. None of these effects could be related to degree of opening or protrusion produced by the MAS.Conclusion: Dental side effects occur in a significant proportion of patients using the MAS. In most cases these are minor and their importance must be balanced against the efficacy of the MAS in treating snoring and OSA.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)237-40
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


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