Our Life-Changing Solutions

Dr. Giesy provides TMJ disorder and sleep apnea services in Tacoma and the Puget Sound area. We have many solutions to relieve your headaches, jaw pain, and snoring.

‘‘My jaw wouldn't open the whole way, and it was popping. I came to see Dr. Giesy, and I've been using the orthotics therapy for 12 weeks. Now, my discomfort is completely gone and my jaw is back to normal. I'm grateful to have it all fixed.

Jessica, Actual TMJ Patient

Headache & Craniofacial Pain Treatment

sleep apnea tacoma
sleep apnea tacoma
 

Symptoms

Seemingly “incurable” headache, ear pain, or facial pain could be generated by your jaw joints, bite, and/or spasm in the facial muscles. The majority of TMD sufferers are women; however, it also effects men, children, and adolescents.

This type of issue could be a sign of TMJ disorder (or TMD). Not knowing the signs, many people search for expensive answers and relief from these symptoms:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Ear fullness or pain
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Dizziness
  • Tired jaws
  • Clicking, popping, grating in jaw joint
  • Difficulty closing the teeth together
  • Limited jaw opening or locking
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Snoring
  • Pain when chewing

Diagnosis & Treatment

At TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Washington, Dr. Giesy will conduct an extensive evaluation during your consultation and will even partner with doctors in the surrounding area to alleviate your symptoms.

Some treatment methods may include:

  • Custom-made orthotic
  • Physical medicine modalities
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Jaw exercises
  • Motor reflex examination
 

TMJ Disorders

sleep apnea tacoma

44 million people in North America suffer from cardiovascular disease and 40 million from symptoms of TMD. At TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Washington, we understand that these conditions are related.

Causes

There are many causes of TMD; however, they often involve the relationship between your teeth, the TM joints, supporting ligaments, and associated musculature. The clicking, popping, or grating of the jaw joints are caused by the abnormal movement of the discs as they move over the head of the joints upon opening and closing. Some contributing factors to TMD may include:

  • Trauma: Direct and indirect trauma to the masticatory structures and upper quadrant can lead to TMD head, neck, and facial pain. Strains, sprains, and injuries can lead to both pain and dysfunction. Either micro or macro traumas may be etiologic factors.
  • Improper occlusion: When teeth do not fit together properly, it causes sustained microtrauma to the joints. When this condition is prolonged, the body begins to compensate by involving muscles in other areas: the neck, throat, and upper back.
  • Muscle hyperactivity: This goes hand-in-hand with internal jaw joint problems. Any condition that prevents the complex system of muscles, bones, and joints from working together in harmony can contribute to TMD. Some of the various ways this system can be disrupted include trauma, connective tissue disorders, arthritis, or skeletal malformation.
  • Posture: Poor posture places unnecessary wear and tear on all the joints, including the jaw joints. Over time, consequences of postural neglect can be as damaging as an injury.
  • Stress: Increased physical and emotional stress is another factor that impacts patients with TMD as it reduces the adaptive capabilities of the jaw. Some patients unconsciously brux and/or clench their teeth in response to increased stress. Chronic clenching and bruxing creates strain on the TM joints and muscles which can exacerbate TMD problems.
  • Head and neck muscle imbalance
  • Chronic mouth breathing (snoring/sleep apnea)
  • Arthritis
  • Poor tongue position

Symptoms

The most common symptom of TMD is noise from the joint, but it can also be present without joint noise. Jaw problems, migraines, chronic headaches, and musculoskeletal pain are symptoms of a greater problem effecting the body - much like a fever is secondary to the flu.

Many TMD patients complain of:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Clicking and popping sounds in the jaw joints (TMJ)
  • Ear pain/fullness
  • Facial, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Dizziness

The Solution

When an occlusion problem or tissue damage to the head, neck, and facial area is diagnosed, it is important to have an evaluation by a trained and qualified TMD dentist, like Dr. Giesy.

He’ll perform a thorough examination of your jaw joints, neck, head, and facial features to obtain an accurate diagnosis. The standard method is to craft an orthotic (splint) for stabilization. Depending on your situation, other options may be recommended, including:

  • Ultrasound
  • Iontophoresis
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • TENS
  • Spray and stretch
  • Various injections
  • Stress counseling
  • Relaxation therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Nutrition counseling
 
sleep apnea tacoma
sleep apnea tacoma
 

‘‘I didn't think it would be possible to have relief from snoring. My wife was skeptical. After getting my snoring appliance, the next morning my wife said she didn't hear me snoring at all. We realized the appliance was working, and ever since, we've had nothing but sleep every night.

Steve, Actual Sleep Apnea Patient

Neck & Shoulder Pain

sleep apnea tacoma
 

The Problem

Neck and shoulder pain could be signs of a much larger problem of TMJ disorder. The majority of TMD sufferers are women; although men, young children, and adolescents are also effected. Too often patients endure a frustrating and expensive doctor-to-doctor search to find answers for relief from symptoms. A dentist who is trained and experienced in TMD is usually the one who treats it conservatively.

The Solution

With neck and shoulder pain, we may use TMD treatments. A custom-made orthotic (splint) is usually prescribed for orthopedic and musculoskeletal stabilization. While many of the symptoms are temporarily improved with pharmacological agents such as analgesics, muscle relaxants, anxiolytics, and anti-depressants, additional adjunctive therapies include:

  • Ultrasound
  • Iontophoresis
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • TENS
  • Spray and stretch
  • Various injections
  • Stress counseling
  • Relaxation therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Nutrition counseling
 

Sleep Apnea Treatment

sleep apnea tacoma

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea occurs when someone stops breathing for at least 10 seconds up to 30 times or more throughout the night.

Snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, a cessation of breathing during sleep, which can put a great strain on the cardiovascular system. This is why sleep apnea, if left untreated, increases the risk for heart attack and stroke. Other symptoms could include:

  • Morning headaches
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Sudden short-of-breath awakenings, choking, or gasping
  • Lost interest in sex

Oral Appliance Approach

At TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Washington, Dr. Giesy offers a conservative approach with a custom-made oral appliance. This nonsurgical approach is made to wear during sleep, which gently moves your lower jaw forward, opening up your airway.

If poor sleep interferes with your daily activities like remaining alert during meetings, while watching television, or when driving or operating equipment, then discuss it with Dr. Giesy and our team. We will help you determine what course of treatment is best for you. Your health is your most priceless possession; you are worth the investment.

Results of Sleep Loss

There are many side effects when you don't get enough sleep. Let's closely examine how they may effect you personally:

  • You are always tired and have no energy or drive
  • You wake up feeling awful, sometimes with a terrible headache
  • You gain weight
  • You are no longer interested in sex
  • You have trouble concentrating and are not productive
  • You fall asleep anytime, anywhere
  • You get angry or irritable on a fairly regular basis
  • You feel depressed or notice mood changes

If you think that you or a loved one may suffer from this sleep disorder, please call to schedule a visit to TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Washington.

 
sleep apnea tacoma
sleep apnea tacoma
 

Ready to Breathe, Sleep, Heal, and Live Again?