About Pain & Sleep

Do you struggle with falling asleep or getting a good night’s rest? If so, you aren’t alone. The majority of adults will experience some form of sleep trouble at least once in their lives. When these troubles occur chronically, they become cause for concern. For many adults, underlying pain is the root of their sleep troubles. For others, it comes down to breathing disorders that disrupt their sleeping patterns or even make sleeping dangerous. No matter why you are struggling to sleep, we have the treatments at our South Carolina practice that will help you.

TREATMENT INFORMATION & SERVICES

Treatment Information and Services

Assistance with craniofacial pain — head and facial pain — primary headaches, TMJ pain, and sleep breathing disorders (snoring and sleep apnea)

Here at TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of The Lowcountry, we help patients live better lives through innovative treatments that do not require surgery. Our team is adept at addressing the needs of patients of all ages, from children to older adults.</[> When we offer treatment, we do more than just manage symptoms. Our goal is to uncover the underlying cause of the problems and address it. With our help, you can live without pain and enjoy restful sleep on a nightly basis. The result of our approach is targeted treatment that insures we miss nothing. Individualized treatment plans are crafted for each patient, ensuring every person we help gets the care they need—nothing more and nothing less. From exercises to training devices to CPAP alternatives, we are confident we can offer the therapies you require.  

Services for Adult Patients

Comprehensive Evaluation for Primary and Secondary Diagnoses
  • Hard and soft tissue evaluation
  • Range of motion evaluation
  • Skeletal structure evaluation
  • Oral airway evaluation
  • Muscle, tendon, ligament palpations
  • Directed Imaging / Radiographs
  • Neurological testing
  • Volumetric analysis of airway
Patient Specific Treatment Plans for: Rehabilitation for craniofacial pain (TMJ, head, face and neck pain) utilizing:
  • Orthopedic appliance therapy
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Physical medicine / laser therapy

Services for Children

Comprehensive Evaluation for Primary and Secondary Diagnoses
  • Hard and soft tissue evaluation
  • Range of motion evaluation
  • Skeletal structure evaluation
  • Oral airway evaluation
  • Muscle, tendon, ligament palpations
  • Directed Imaging / Radiographs
  • Neurological testing
  • Volumetric analysis of airway
Patient Specific Treatment Plans for: Skeletal development for proper function, pain relief and proper breathing (treating pediatric OSA) utilizing:
  • Orthopedic Orthodontics
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Physical medicine
  If you are in South Carolina and looking for an effective solution to craniofacial pain or sleep disorders, we are the center you can trust.

SLEEP RELATED BREATHING DISORDER

Sleep Related Breathing Disorders

Sleep-related breathing disorders have a significant negative impact on quality of life. However, not everyone who suffers from these disorders realizes they have them. Many people think they just snore a lot or feel tired often without knowing why. It is important that people know the symptoms and get the treatment they need. Perhaps the most common sleep-related breathing disorder is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is caused by something obstructing the airway during sleep, cutting off breathing. The usual site for this obstruction is the soft palate to the base of the tongue where there are no rigid structures to maintain an open airway. OSA is often thought of as an “adult” condition, but the truth is that anyone of any age can have sleep apnea—even infants. In some cases, OSA has been discovered to be the cause of behavioral and attention problems in children. Enlarged tonsils and small structural features of the maxilla/nose, mouth and throat may contribute to childhood OSA. OSA is not a condition that can be diagnosed or treated at home. Any signs that it is present should be taken seriously, as it is a potentially life-threatening disorder. At present, the primary method for diagnosing OSA is to have the patient undergo a sleep study, known as Polysomnography (PSG) or Home Sleep Test (HST). We are happy to assist our patients in coordination of any necessary sleep testing.

Sleep Services

Here at TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of The Lowcountry, we provide dental sleep medicine. This is the management of diagnosed sleep-related breathing disorders using oral appliance therapy in adult patients and orthopedic orthodontics for airway development and correct in child patients. Our doctors have undergone specialized training in this form of medicine.

Adults

Once we have diagnosed an adult patient with a sleep-related breathing condition, we will work with them to design a comprehensive plan that address the underlying cause while also helping them manage their symptoms. This can include behavior and lifestyle changes, Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) wear Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device (CPAP), and in extreme cases, surgery. There are over 100 different appliances that have FDA approval for OSA treatment, and we will work to find the best one for your needs. The doctors of TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre are specifically trained and experienced in oral appliance therapy. We use highly sensitive equipment to measure the airway, predict how it will improve, and create custom appliance designs. We also provide ongoing care and monitoring to ensure long-term success.
  • Sleep Apnea Symptoms for Adults
  • Unexplained daytime sleepiness
  • Restless sleep
  • Loud snoring (with periods of silence followed by gasps)
  • Morning headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Mood changes such as irritability, anxiety and depression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Increased heart rate and/or blood pressure
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Changes in urination
  • Frequent heartburn and heavy night sweats
There are certain factors that can put an adult at greater risk of developing OSA. These include being male, obese, over the age of 40, having anatomic abnormalities in the upper airway, a family history of sleep apnea, using alcohol or sedatives regularly, being a smoker, and having hypertension.

Children

Treating OSA in children requires specialized training. Adult therapies are not effective on younger patients and can actually be dangerous. Therapies such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) have been known to arrest skeletal development of the growing child. However, we offer therapies that are suited to growing bodies. Our goal is to increase the airway volume and address any obstructions found. Procedures used can range from removing to tonsils to upper jaw expansion. Ultimately, the treatment of OSA in childhood has a very high success rate because we are able to harness their growth to get incredible results.
Symptoms include:
  • Snoring
  • Mouth breathing
  • Restlessness during sleep
  • Sleeping in odd positions
  • Periods of not breathing
  • Teeth grinding
  • Night terrors
  • Mood changes
  • Poor concentration
  • Bed wetting
  • Headaches
  • Frequent infections
Children with OSA are often diagnosed with other conditions due to poor sleep. Before children are treated for ADHD, learning, and other behavior disorders, they should be evaluated for OSA.

craniofacial pain (tmd/tmj)

Craniofacial Pain (TMD/TMJ)

At TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of The Lowcountry, we recognize how complex craniofacial pain can be. The way it presents is often unique to each patient, necessitating individualized care. A patient may have TMD, migraines, facial neuralgias, musculoskeletal pain, or a combination of any or all of the above. Of these, TMJ pain is the condition we see most frequently identified by patients, itself often causing other problems, such as migraines. Many factors can lead to the development of TMJ pain. In some cases, it occurs all on its own, but more often, it is part of a complex series of issues. Some factors that can lead to the development of TMJ are:
  • Car accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Falls
  • Clenching the teeth
  • Grinding the teeth
However, one cause of TMJ pain that is often overlooked is insufficient oxygen while sleeping. In fact, we believe this is the primary cause of TMJ pain, with patients grinding and clenching their teeth when their airway is obstructed in an effort for prevent suffocation. When this action is repeated throughout the night over many nights, the skeletal structure is worn down, which results in numerous types of craniofacial pain.

Craniofacial Pain Services

Once a patient has been diagnosed with a condition causing their craniofacial pain, successful treatment is possible. We customize our therapies to the needs of the patient, offering different services for adults and children.

Adults

  • Comprehensive diagnostics
  • Non-surgical treatment plan for rehabilitation
  • Decompression appliance therapy (short term wear of custom orthopedic oral orthotics not splints)
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Medication and supplement regimens
  • Physical medicine treatment (Laser therapy, trigger points, prolo therapy, phonophoresis)
  • Multi-discipline Referral Coordination
Adult Symptoms Indicating the Need for Treatment
  • Headaches – recurring or chronic
  • Earache or ear symptoms of stuffiness or ringing
  • Neck Pain or Stiffness
  • Facial Pain
  • Jaw joint sounds – clicking, popping or grating
  • Limited ability to open or close mouth
  • Jaw locking (opened or closed)
  • Sensitive, loose or worn down teeth
  • Pain or soreness in the TM joints
  • Dizziness or Pain or difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Extreme sensitivity to light

Children

  • Comprehensive diagnostics
  • Non-surgical treatment plan for rehabilitation
  • Orthopedic orthodontic development
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Supplement regimens
  • Physical medicine treatment (Laser therapy, phonophoresis)
  • Multi-discipline Referral Coordination
Pediatric Symptoms Indicating the Need for Treatment
  • Headaches – recurring or chronic
  • Earache or ear symptoms of stuffiness or ringing
  • Neck Pain or Stiffness
  • Facial Pain
  • Jaw joint sounds – clicking, popping or grating
  • Limited ability to open or close mouth
  • Jaw locking (opened or closed)
  • Sensitive, loose or worn down teeth
  • Pain or soreness in the TM joints
  • Dizziness or Pain or difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Extreme sensitivity to light
  • ADHD
  • Bed wetting

pediatric osa

Orthodontics/Orthopedics for Treatment of OSA

At TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of The Lowcountry, we understand that crooked teeth can be more than just a mild orthodontic condition. In some cases, they indicate serious problems with dysfunctional breathing and improper tongue posture. Every child should be screened for Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) according to the American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines. Is Your Child at Risk for OSA? TAKE THE BEARS SCREENING TEST OSA can only be diagnosed by a medical doctor. Treatment can be handled by a dentist with specialized training in addressing sleep-related breathing disorders. However, they must understand the unique needs of pediatric patients, as adult OSA therapies can cause harm to children. Signs indicating a need for treatment include:
  • Snoring
  • Mouth breathing
  • Restlessness during sleep
  • Sleeping in odd positions
  • Periods of not breathing
  • Night terrors
  • Mood changes
  • Poor concentration
  • Bed Wetting
  • Headaches
  • Frequent infections
While there is no single path to treating OSA in children, jaw expansion, exercises, and lifestyle changes are often a part of treatment. Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a prevalent but under-diagnosed disease. The importance of screening for OSA in every child has recently been re-emphasized by the American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines.

Is Your Child at Risk for OSA?

TAKE THE BEARS SCREENING TEST
OSA is a medical condition that is diagnosed by a medical doctor, but can be treated by a dentist with advanced understanding and training of this life threatening breathing disorder. Working with a Sleep Physician, ENT and others is necessary in treating OSA. Adult therapies for the management of OSA are not suitable for children. Therapies such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) have been known to arrest skeletal development of the growing child. The good news is, with proper diagnosis and communication between medical and dental providers, Pediatric OSA can be cured!
Symptoms of Childhood OSA:
  • Snoring
  • Mouth breathing
  • Restlessness during sleep
  • Sleeping in odd positions
  • Periods of not breathing
  • Night terrors
  • Mood changes
  • Poor concentration
  • Bed Wetting
  • Headaches
  • Frequent infections
Orthodontics for Airway Development
An increase in airway volume is always our goal in the treatment of Pediatric OSA. The airway is evaluated and any obstructions are addressed. Obstructions can occur anywhere in the airway and are not limited to the mouth and nose. Common procedures in airway development involve upper and lower jaw expansion and relationship changes, myofunctional tongue and lip exercises and lifestyle changes.