It can take your mouth and your brain a little time to adjust to wearing a TMJ oral appliance at night. Sometimes patients find they drool, gag or experience discomfort for the first few nights of oral appliance use. But these appliances can make a significant difference in alleviating symptoms of TMJ disorder, so it is worth it to be persistent and patient.
As trusted providers of these appliances, Dr. Ivan Stein and Dr. Allen Stein of Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey have some tips and tricks to share. Read on to learn how to adjust to wearing an oral appliance at night.
Practice During the Day
One of the best ways to get used to wearing a nighttime oral appliance is to wear it for short periods of time during the day. While you “try it on” in your mouth, relax your entire body, including your jaw muscles, and take some deep breaths through your nose. After some practice sessions, wearing your oral appliance at night should become a more comfortable experience.
If your oral appliance feels tight, you may be tempted to skip wearing it. Try to power through the new sensations and keep wearing it every night. Consistent wear will help your mouth and brain adjust more quickly to the appliance. If you are inconsistent in your use of your appliance, it will take a longer time for it to become second nature.
Drooling Is Normal At First
Don’t worry if you wake up with a pillow full of drool the first few times you wear your appliance. Producing excess saliva is your body’s natural response to something new in your mouth. Give it more time and know that the drooling will eventually stop.
Know When To Ask for Help
If you have been using your appliance for several weeks and it still feels uncomfortable in your mouth, or if it is making one or two of your teeth sore, do not give up. The appliance could require a professional adjustment. Contact our team and request an appointment with one of our doctors to evaluate your appliance’s fit. Sometimes a few minor changes can make all the difference in your comfort.
Contact Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey
If you have additional questions about oral appliances or adjusting to sleeping with an oral appliance, our doctors are happy to help you. Please call or email our practice today to speak with a member of our team.