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Hidden Gems: Meet Dr. Cheyn Gunnerson of Gunnerson Dental and TMJ & Sleep Therapy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Cheyn Gunnerson. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Please kick things off for us with some background on Dr. Gunnerson.
Dr. Cheyn Gunnerson grew up in what was a small community at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake City. He saw dentistry as an art, a way to build not only a beautiful smile but health and confidence in oneself. After graduating from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Medical Biology, he went on to attend dental school at The Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry, graduating in the top 5% of his class.

Dr. Cheyn Gunnerson began his private dental practice in 1996. He chose to build his practice and serve the community in Payson because he loved the closeness of the community and positive culture. In order to give the community the very best experience and exceptional treatment, Dr. Gunnerson has invested thousands of hours in postgraduate education and continues to train with healthcare providers worldwide who provide the highest-level techniques for restoring dental health including adult orthodontics, jaw pain, facial pain and sleep issues. Dr. Gunnerson says “Seeing each patient’s success makes every minute worth it.”

Dr. Gunnerson spent his first years in practice solely devoted to family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and implant dentistry. In 2007 Dr. Cheyn Gunnerson discovered his love for treating sleep apnea and TMJ disorders. Frustrated by his own Obstructive Sleep Apnea journey and the challenges of finding a treatment that was both comfortable and effective, he began searching for an alternative to the use of a CPAP for treating Sleep Apnea.

He became aware of the ‘oral sleep appliance,’. a thin, custom-made mouth appliance designed to lift the soft tissues of the throat and open an individual’s airway. Finding great success in this treatment, Dr. Gunnerson was inspired to share it with others in the community who may not tolerate their CPAP machines.

“From my own health journey I have developed a deep appreciation for the life-changing impact great healthcare can provide.” says Dr. Gunnerson, “My personal experience with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and TMJ pain spurred my passion to aid others in living a healthy, energetic, and pain-free life.”

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
As with every entrepreneurial journey of owning your own business, there are bumps and struggles. The economic crash of 2008 took its toll on every small business. We were lucky to be able to rally our team and pull through.

These last two years with the COVID crisis we have seen much of the same as what happened 12 years ago. At the beginning of the spread of the virus, many patients had concerns about going to a doctor’s office. We have always used the top of line sterilization techniques and were even able to install a Remi Halo air purifier which has the capability to kill the Coronavirus; these methods ensured to our patients that their health is always a #1 priority and we are doing everything possible to keep them safe.

I’ve come to realize in my years of practice and owning my own business that it’s important to keep a goal and dream in mind. When you do the same thing over and over every day, it is easy to lose passion for it. This is why I go out of my way to bring high-level technology and new methods of pain relief and health to our office.

I am so passionate about helping others. Seeing a patient go from level 10 pain, chronic pain, for years, to a level 2 or 3 in a matter of weeks makes everything worth it.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Dr. Gunnerson recently introduced into his practice the highly effective and innovative technology of Cold Laser Therapy. A specially calibrated laser targets trigger points and strained or damaged tissues to stimulate cells to repair on their own. In the medical field, this laser has been seen as a large benefit to patients with chronic pain, especially those with chronic migraines and headaches.

The use of laser therapy in some cases has been used to prevent the need for invasive, long recovery surgeries. At Gunnerson Dental and TMJ & Sleep Therapy, Cold Laser Therapy is used primarily for individuals with chronic migraines and TMJ Disorder, however, they have also seen great results in treating tooth extraction sites, tooth sensitivity, trigeminal neuralgia, and sinus infections.

Along with Cold Laser Therapy, Dr. Cheyn Gunnerson has also introduced Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy to his practice. This therapy is not new but has just recently made its way to the United States. It has been used in European countries for many years. The purpose of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is to retrain facial muscles that may have developed incorrectly due to childhood issues such as; thumbsucking, tongue and lip ties, pacifiers, and more. Myofunctional Therapy is most effective in children but can benefit adults as well.

As a testimonial to the care we seek to provide for our patients, In January 2021 a mother came to our Myofunctional Therapist to see if we could help her son. He had been struggling with the lack of weight gain and eating for several years. In the mother’s words, “I couldn’t even get him to eat sweets or just bread.”. His health had gotten so severe that the boy’s doctor insisted on checking the child into the hospital and installing a feeding tube if he could not get his weight up in the next month. For reference, this boy was 12 years of age, 50 pounds, and 4 foot two inches in height. (The average height and weight of an 8-year-old, a child 4 years younger than him.)

After an initial exam with our Myofunctional Therapist, Mindy Lunceford, it was discovered he had a significant tongue tie along with several other facial muscle issues. The tongue tie was promptly taken care of and therapy started. Three weeks into treatment the boy was eating better, had gained ten pounds, and for the first time in years, was engaging in activities with his family.

His mother was nearly in tears as she said in a recent interview, “I was about ready to start homeschooling because the bullying had gotten so bad. I can’t fully express how much Mindy has changed our lives.”

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Dr. Cheyn Gunnerson is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), and the American Academy of Cranial-facial Pain (AACP). Dr. Cheyn Gunnerson is currently collaborating with and studying under Doctor and Sleep Specialists, Dr. Steve R Olmos and Dr. Daniel Klauer’s ineffective, pain-relieving TMJ and craniofacial pain Therapy treatments.

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Image Credits
Dawn Davis

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