Phone *
Phone

211 E Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, CA, 91776

(626)287-0991

Dr. Daniel Cheng, DDS provides quality general dental and specialized services in the San Gabriel Valley. His specialized services include TMJ/TMD pain therapy, cosmetic dentistry, implants, and full mouth reconstruction.

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TMJ Pain Therapy

Temporomandibular joints (TMJ), commonly known as the “jaw joints,” are a set of hinges located on the side of the face by our ears that connects the jaw to the base of the skull and is used to move the jaw up, down, and side to side. When the TMJ is damaged, known as temporomandibular disorder or dysfunction (TMD), they can cause a lot of pain in the jaw in addition to triggering headaches and other symptoms. These other symptoms of TMJ disorder include but are not limited to jaw popping or clicking, ear aches or pain,  popping of the ears, stiff and/or sore jaw muscles, and locking of the jaw.

Because the TMJ is also a joint, it can suffer from degenerative joint disease, also known as osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis is caused by inflammation, breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of the joints, leading to TMD. TMD can also be caused by injury to the head and neck, clenching and grinding habits, and stress.

Dr. Cheng has successfully treated many patients suffering from TMD; in fact, he too has suffered from TMD and has tirelessly searched for answers himself. For more information about the condition and therapy for TMJ pain, take a look at a paper published by Dr. Cheng titled "A Cure for TMJ Pain" [link].


A Spotlight Case Study

The fossa and condyle of a the TMJ region

The fossa and condyle of a the TMJ region

On a normal CT scan of the jaw, there should be space between the fossa (the upper concavity) and head of condyle (the "knob" of the jaw) for the TMJ disc (refer to image). In TMD, the space has minimized or disappeared and the disc, not seen on the scan, is usually displaced. As a result, there is bone to bone contact without the lubrication and "cushion" of TMJ disc. This can create tremendous pain as very delicate nerves are compressed whether the jaw is in use or not. When the proper joint position is reestablished, space for TMJ disc can be seen on later CT scan of the patient.

In 2007, the radiologist noted that the findings were most consistent with degenerative joint disease (DJD) for the right TMJ. After wearing the appliance fabricated by Dr. Cheng, the radiologist noted that the 2009 scan does not have radiographic evidence of active DJD as compared to the 2007 scan.

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In 2013, the radiologist again noted that there was no radiographic evidence of active DJD and the DJD has progressed to a more stable form since 2010.


Testimonials by Patients

The appliance that I wear every night has eliminated the pain in my TMJ joint on the right side of my mouth. Because of the damage done previously to my right jaw, I’m relieved to no longer have pain and I feel so much better that I’m not causing further damage to my TMJ joint, by wearing my appliance each night. I’ve consciously used the time when awake with the appliance in to mediate the grinding effect on my teeth, I keep my tongue up in my upper teeth to prevent myself from grinding my teeth so hard. It must be working because Dr. Cheng did not see the wear on my appliance that both of us thought we would. I am very grateful to Dr. Cheng for finding an appliance that has relieved the pain and the headaches which were so frequent and severe before I started using this brace nightly.
— Cheralyn
Hi Dr. Cheng!

My stabilizer is working great so far. Very comfortable and I am sure it will definitely help!

Here’s the history of dental experience. I had braces in high school around age of 16. I just turned 40. Ever since last 10 to 15 years, I have had deep pocket and receding bone issue around the upper and lower molar gum areas. Every dentist that I’ve been to last 20 or so years basically give the same diagnosis – “you have gum disease, you need to floss regularly and need surgery”. It’s frustrating because I floss and use Waterpik every night and keep my gums very clean. Essentially all the dentists that I’ve gone to shares the view that I need to go a better job in terms of dental hygiene. I do a good job with dental hygiene so I feel like these dentists are not really solving my problem. Typically I do 3 cleaning a year. I even had gym surgery. Bottom line – I have been given same old diagnosis and nothing helps. I felt something was off but I didn’t know if there are other solution.

Through a good friend’s referral I got to meet you. When you described to me your treatment philosophy using the stabilizer / appliance it totally made sense to me. I won’t elaborate how your treatment works (I will leave this part to you) but coming from engineering background the it totally made sense to me. It even made mores sense when I found out that where I am experiencing bone loss in my gum is the highest mechanical impact area due to mis-aligned bite.

I believe I have been on your treatment over 6 months now. I can already feel my jaws relax. I used to have very severe neck/should pain due to tight muscle in the area because I grind my teeth at night and my jaws were out of position (misaligned bites). After 6 months of using the stabilizer / appliance at night, in addition to experiencing my jaw muscles much more relaxed, I now have less frequent neck/should pain. My assessment is that a large part of neck/shoulder pain came from tight muscle resulting from misaligned bite which causes my jaw, shoulder and neck muscles to tighten up at night.

I very much appreciate your philosophy of going after the cure vs. providing standardized “treatment” as offered by traditional dentists that does not solve root cause of the problem. I know you have a very sincere desire to wanting to help people and I can feel that by your actions. I definitely would recommend your service to anyone who I know that needs it. I look forward to even better progress next few months!

Cheers!
— Wen