Whether you’ve just started wearing a nightguard, snoring appliance, or TMJ appliance, you’ll likely run into a couple of problems that may make it difficult to get used to wearing the appliance. The main reason why most of these appliances aren’t effective is that people don’t take the time to get used to wearing them. If you can wear it consistently for four weeks, you’ll have made the habit and gotten over most of the problems and it’ll be simple. Here are the most common problems and what you can do about them.
- Excess saliva. Anything new in your mouth causes your saliva glands to work overtime. As you slowly get used to wearing it, your brain won’t feel the need to make excess saliva anymore. This process usually takes a couple of weeks.
- Tooth soreness. With any of these appliances, mild tooth soreness isn’t unusual. Appliances can put some different forces on teeth that they’re not quite used to. Again, with time this soreness should go away on it’s own. If the soreness is severe or doesn’t go away in a couple of weeks you should see your dentist to see if they need to adjust the appliance.
- Taking it out in the middle of the night. Some people wake up halfway through the night, take it out, and then go right back to sleep. Most of the time they don’t even realize they did it. This is OK and perfectly normal! Continue to wear it and don’t worry if you take it out. As you get more used to it, you’ll take it out less and less.
- Slight bite changes in the morning. This happens most often with snoring appliances. Your dentist should provide you with a morning repositioning appliance that you’ll bite on for a couple of minutes which should reset your muscles into the correct position. If the bite changes are more significant or don’t go away within about an hour of waking up you should see your dentist. Some appliances will occasionally cause permanent bite changes (although this is rare).
- TMJ or muscle pain. This is another one of those problems that usually goes away on it’s own as long as the pain is mild. If it’s more severe or not lessening after a couple of days see your dentist and they may need to adjust your appliance.