TMD and sleep apnea are common health issues that occur for a variety of reasons. As such, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for these conditions, either. Our team tries to be extremely comprehensive and thorough when we evaluate our patients. We’ve found that 95% of an effective treatment is dependent on a proper diagnosis. We don’t simply look to put a bandaid or mask on the problem, we get to the underlying issue so as to find a permanent solution.
As a result of this philosophy, we were able to help one such patient avoid a very serious health problem: throat cancer. She initially came to us complaining of snoring, and as it turns out, it was a much more dangerous situation. The patient wrote to us:
“I am recovering from cancer treatment. I am so thankful to Dr. Klauer for finding this throat cancer at such an early stage. Although treatment has been uncomfortable, and sometimes painful, it has been so important that it was found early. One of the side effects of treating the cancer is that I no longer snore. I think the snoring was the result of the airways that were blocked by the tonsil tumor.”
The lesson here is two-fold: Had the patient ignored her snoring issue, she might not have found out that she had cancer until it was in the later stages and more difficult to treat. We applaud her for realizing the snoring was an issue that needed to be addressed. Second, our evaluation is such that we want to get to the origin of the problem because this helps us properly treat patients. If we had simply prescribed her sleep apnea therapy and didn’t look further into the cause of her snoring, the cancer could have been missed.
We’re so happy we could help this patient and that her cancer was detected early. Of course, not all causes of sleep apnea are this serious, but if we can find the underlying cause, it makes your chances of successful treatment greater.