FAQSTMJ & SLEEP THERAPY CENTRE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
Here are some commonly asked questions people have for our doctors:
I just have headaches. Why was I referred to the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of New Hampshire?
Chronic headaches do not usually exist on their own. Instead, they are typically a symptom of an undiagnosed underlying condition. In many cases, chronic headaches are a symptom of a sleep-related breathing disorder or problems with the temporomandibular joint and surrounding structures. We are experts at identifying the root cause of the symptoms and addressing it to give the patient relief.
Why is your name TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of New Hampshire?
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint. Conditions that affect the TMJ are called TMD. We choose to include TMJ in our name because people are more familiar with the term. Sleep therapy and TMD are often related, therefore, at our practice we specialize in treating both.
How do I know if I have TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Disease)?
A doctor has to diagnose this condition. However, some signs may indicate that you suffer from it including: Headaches – recurring or chronic Earache or ear symptoms of stuffiness or ringing Facial Pain or Jaw Pain Neck pain or stiffness Jaw joint sounds – clicking, popping or grating noises Limited ability to open or close mouth Jaw locking (open or closed) Sensitive, loose or worn down teeth Difficulty swallowing Difficulty sleeping If you notice these symptoms in your daily life, frequently take pain medications, or use sleep medications nightly, you need to be evaluated for TMD.
I’ve already tried splints and they didn’t work, what’s different about your treatment?
We utilize orthotics or orthopedic appliances that are specifically designed for each patient and made using the only peer-reviewed bite technique. We only rely on them for 12 weeks or less to decompress the jaw joint as it is rehabilitated.
Why do I have to wear appliances day and night? And why 2 different appliances?
We try to create the necessary stability required to treat abnormalities and restore the health of the jaw joints. This stability, support, and protection are needed during the day and at night. Our body reacts differently when we’re awake than when we’re sleeping, for this reason, different appliances are needed when you are awake versus when you are sleeping.
Why do I have to wear the appliance when I eat?
Chewing while eating can be a stressful activity for the jaw joint if it is already damaged. Just like a crutch helps you keep your sprained foot or ankle from handling too much weight, your appliance will help your TMJ suffer stress when eating.
I’m sure I only snore; why can’t I just get an appliance for snoring?
We are happy to provide an appliance for snoring if our evaluation indicates that snoring is your only diagnosis. However, snoring is often a symptom of an underlying condition such as sleep apnea. OSA can be a life-threatening condition if left untreated so it is important to undergo an evaluation to make sure you do not suffer from OSA.
I’ve used a night guard; it really wasn’t that helpful, so what’s different about a sleep appliance?
Nightguards are designed to stop you from grinding down your teeth while sleeping. The sleep appliance’s role is to open the airway to help you breathe correctly throughout the night.
I thought the only treatment option for sleep apnea was CPAP; can I use an oral appliance instead?
Yes, oral appliance therapy is an approved treatment for mild to moderate OSA cases. For severe cases, appliances are prescribed to be used in combination with CPAP.
I thought snoring was related to age and size; why do I hear loud, snoring like noises from my little child?
People of any age can snore, however, snoring can be an indication that the person suffers from sleep apnea. Snoring and sleep apnea are strongly correlated in children, 7 out of 10 children who snore suffer from Pediatric OSA. If your little one is snoring, they should be evaluated.
I have been told the only ‘real treatment’ option for my problem is surgery; is that true?
No, we always recommend non-surgical rehabilitation is the standard form of treatment. It is our philosophy to reserve surgery for cases where all other alternatives have been exhausted.
My child has started to have night terrors and is very moody. Why was I referred to the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of New Hampshire?
At this practice, we focus on identifying the root cause of the symptoms. Night terrors and mood swings are often a consequence of short or low quality sleep. The length and quality of sleep is often a consequence of underlying conditions like Pediatric Sleep Apnea. We perform an extensive evaluation to determine the size of the airway in children and decide of the child suffers from sleep apnea and if they do, we treat it.
Are TMJ specialists medical physicians or dentists?
Dr. Meyer is a dental physician. She is certified in craniofacial pain and dental sleep medicine. It is vital that any doctor offering these services has undergone specialized training and has years of experience.
Do you take insurance?
We do not accept insurance as a form of payment. However, we will be happy to assist you with filing and maximizing the reimbursement of your benefit from your insurance company.
Why can’t you bill my dental insurance?
We do not accept insurance as a form of payment. If your dental plan has benefits for evaluating or treating TMJ conditions, we will assist you with billing for your reimbursement. However, most dental plans limit their coverage to dental treatments, and TMJ and Sleep conditions are medical in nature and therefore not considered dental treatments by most insurance companies.