Temporomandibular Disorders in Patients Undergoing Mandibular Advancement Device therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Systematic Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Mandibular advancement device (MAD) therapy is a popular and effective treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, there have been several reports in the literature of patients developing temporomandibular disorders (TMDs).

Objective: The objective of this review is to evaluate theprevalenceof TMD, both in the initial phase of therapy and at follow up appointments, amongst patients wearing a MAD for OSA.

Methods: The authors conducted a systematic review of published articles in which the presence of TMDs in patients undergoing MAD therapy for OSA was investigated. Eligible studies met the following criteria: a diagnosis of TMD following mandibular advancement using a custom-made and titratable MAD using either the Diagnostic Criteria for TMD (DC/TMD), Helkimo Anamnestic Dysfunction Index or reproducible clinical signs/symptoms. Of the thirty-six articles published in this area, eleven were included in this review. These were assessed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Results: The average prevalence of TMD during the initial phase of MAD therapy was found to be 25%. The prevalence of TMD reduced in the follow up periods. The adherence to MAD, especially long term, appears to be variable and from our results, it appears an average of 20% of patients discontinue MAD therapy over six to one hundred and twenty months, and this number has been reported to be as high as 62.5% (over 58 months).

Conclusions: There was some difficulty in comparing the studies due to the differences in follow up time, methodology, sample size and diagnostic criteria. Longer clinical follow-up studies, with an objective method of monitoring patient adherence such as home monitoring devices, and preferably with a larger sample size are needed to evaluate the long-term effects of MADs on the TMD. The authors consider it prudent for clinicians to counsel patients that a small number will experience signs and symptoms of TMD with MAD use. However TMD is usually transient and the long-term risk appears small. In patients who develop TMD during MAD therapy, treatment of their TMD is recommended to prevent discontinuation of MAD therapy. In a few patients, persistent TMD may result in discontinuation of MAD therapy. Patients should be cautioned of this possibility and subsequently referred to consider other treatment options for their OSA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-42
JournalAmerican Journal of Oral Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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