Frequently Asked TMJ & Sleep Apnea Questions – Aspen Hill, MD

Ask Your Aspen Hill Sleep Apnea & TMD Expert

Our patients tend to have a lot of questions, and we always love answering them. Nothing makes us happier than giving someone a definitive answer to something they have been wondering about. We can do the same for you, and below, we’ve gone ahead and responded to some of the most common questions we receive.

If I snore, does that mean I have sleep apnea?

Not necessarily. While snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea, not everyone who snores has the condition. If a person snores and feels tired all the time, then we recommend that they should come to see us, because these are definitive signs of a sleep-breathing problem.

How long does sleep apnea treatment take?

It really depends on what is causing the disorder. If someone has a narrow airway, the VIVOS appliance we use might be able to open it up in a matter of months. But, obesity and other lifestyle factors can also be big contributors to sleep apnea, and those can take much longer to resolve. We’ll talk about all this at your consultation so you know what to expect once we start treating you.

I use a CPAP machine—can the VIVOS appliance work for me?

Yes! After undergoing treatment with the VIVOS appliance, many CPAP patients are able to start using their machine fewer nights a week, or they can at least put it on a lower setting so it’s more comfortable. Please let us know if you have been prescribed to use a CPAP so we can adjust your care accordingly.

What is the difference between TMJ and TMD?

TMJ is your temporomandibular joint, or the hinges next to your ears that enable your jaw to move. A problem with this joint is called a TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. The terms are often used interchangeably, but they are NOT the same thing.

How long does TMD treatment take?

The length of a TMD treatment plan can vary from patient to patient based on the underlying cause of their condition. Resolving the issue might just be a matter of adjusting the shape of a few teeth, or we may need to prescribe the use of an oral appliance and realign the entire bite. Either way, the results should be permanent, and we’ll let you know what your timeline will look like when you come to see us for a consultation.

Can I use my insurance to pay for sleep apnea/TMD treatment?

Yes, but it can be a little confusing. If you’re just getting treatment for TMD, then it will be covered by your dental insurance. But, if you need treatment for sleep apnea, it will fall under your health insurance. We can help you sort out all of these details right from the start so you know exactly what you’ll be expected to pay and don’t have to worry about any surprises.