TMJ & Headache Treatment

Yakima dentist serving the entire Yakima Valley from Ellensburg to Sunnyside

You Deserve a Pain-Free Life

Do you suffer from tension in the jaw, muscle soreness, and frequent headaches? Your bite may be to blame!

The way your teeth bite and fit together (your occlusion) is extremely important to your overall dental and jaw joint health. If your teeth do not fit together properly, your muscles and joints work hard to accommodate the misalignment. This constant overwork of the muscular system as it tries to adapt to an unhealthy bite leads to some very painful and debilitating conditions. When the muscles are overworked at times that they should be relaxed, they will end up in spasm. This can lead to a variety of painful symptoms including:

  • Facial pain
  • Jaw joint pain
  • Back and neck pain
  • Postural problems
  • Limited opening or lock jaw
  • Tension headaches
  • Clenching
  • Extensive wear of the teeth
  • Tender/sensitive teeth
  • Ringing in the ears and ear congestion
  • Sinus symptoms
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Tingling in fingers
  • Insomnia
  • Pain behind eyes
  • Muscle fatigue and tenderness
  • Gum recession

If you are experiencing any of these TMJ symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and schedule your complimentary consultation by calling (509) 977-4144 in Yakima today.

Here’s what our patients are saying:

Dr. Pete Nathe is truly a miracle worker! I have suffered from horrible migraines for over 15 years and have been to countless doctors to try to find help. The impact on my life was devastating. Nobody had any solutions for my pain except for more pain medication. I read about neuromuscular dentistry and found Dr. Nathe. His treatment involved evaluating and changing my bite with an orthotic. This allowed my muscles to relax which relieved the muscles spasms causing my daily migraines. After wearing the custom orthotic for 4 months I was basically pain free. My life has completely changed and I owe it all to Dr. Pete Nathe and his staff.

— Adrienne W. 

This Video May Change Your Life!

If you have any of these painful symptoms, click the image below for more information about your bite and how a specially trained neuromuscular dentist can help you live a pain-free life!

Causes of Bite Misalignment

Extensive research and scientific documentation has shown that an unhealthy or unbalanced bite is caused by:

  • Breathing or allergy issues as a child
  • Thumb sucking
  • Some types of retraction orthodontics
  • Bicuspid extractions
  • Unbalanced dental treatment
  • Shifting of teeth after tooth loss
  • Old dentistry that has broken down or worn out

Outcome of a Bad Bite

If your muscles and joints are strained as a result of a bad bite, then the Muscle/Tooth War is triggered. Three things may happen and none of them are good:

The Muscle vs. Tooth War

Occlusion, the way your teeth bite and fit together, is extremely important to your overall dental and jaw joint health. If your teeth do not fit together properly, your muscles and joints work hard to accommodate the misalignment. This constant overworking of the muscular system leads to some very painful and debilitating conditions.

What happens in the muscle vs. tooth war?

  1. If your muscles win, you have elevated tooth wear.
  2. If your teeth win, you will have muscle tension which leads to headaches and other pains.
  3. Many people experience a combination of 1 & 2.


Complete and accurate diagnosis with the special computerized technology of the Myotronic K-7 unit to obtain very detailed information about your muscles and joints. Mandibular scanning and jaw tracking allows our neuromuscular dentist to measure and study range of motion:

Mandibular Scanning & Jaw Tracking Diagram | Yakima Smiles

Electromyography measures muscle activity:

Electromyography Diagram - TMD Diagnosis | Yakima Smiles

Electrosonography assesses status of the articular joint by detecting abnormal jaw joint clicking and popping, which indicates cartilage damage.

TMJ Treatment

The muscles of the face, shoulders and jaw are relaxed with a TENS device called a myomonitor. This muscle stimulator delivers a mild electrical current that exercises these muscles until they relax.

Records are then taken in the comfortable, relaxed "neuromuscular" bite and sent to a specialized dental lab. The lab fabricates a comfortable, custom plastic orthotic. 

An orthotic is simply an appliance custom fitted to your teeth that will maintain your bite in a precise position. It is worn for a period of time to relieve jaw joint symptoms and treat TMD, or may be an interim step to verify your correct bite prior to considering permanent alteration of your bite with orthodontics or crowns.

One Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words:

TMJ Transformation Yakima

Neuromuscular Dentistry: Changing Lives

Neuromuscular dentistry is on the forefront of TMD treatment and headache therapy. This growing field of high-tech dentistry considers the entire system that controls the positioning of the jaw and seeks to establish a harmonious relationship between the teeth, muscles and jaw joint.

With advanced training and high tech equipment, dentists can determine a patient’s ideal bite and calm the Tooth-Muscle War and alleviate the pain associated with TMD and headache pain. Find out how neuromuscular dentist Dr. Pete Nathe can help you by calling (509) 977-4144 or completing the form on this page. Yakima Smiles serves patients in Ellensburg, Sunnyside and other nearby communities.