Most adults suffer from temporary jaw stiffness or pain at some point in their lives. It is often the result of clenching, grinding, or poor posture during times of stress. However, chronic jaw pain can have other causes. Don’t assume that every dentist is a TMJ expert, specialist, or takes your discomfort seriously. Patients in Los Angeles trust Dr. Don Mungcal for his knowledge, experience, and compassion in treating TMJ/TMD.
Understanding TMJ and TMD
TMJ is short for “temporomandibular joint.” This hinge point is found just below the ear on each side of your face. It holds your lower jawbone in place, allowing it to open and close, and slide side to side and front to back. The joint is held in delicate balance with bone, muscle, connective tissues, and an articular disc. Many factors can compromise that balance, resulting in TMD; temporomandibular disorder. Symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain at the jaw, possibly radiating into face, neck, and shoulders
- Discomfort at the ear when the mouth is opened wide, or during chewing and speaking
- Jaw feels stiff, or tends to lock open or closed
- Clicks, pops, and grating sounds when the mouth is worked
- Facial tiredness or swelling
- A sudden change in bite – how upper and lower teeth fit together
- Tooth sensitivity
- Excessive or uneven tooth wear
Research and referral
Let your quest for a qualified TMJ/TMD practitioner begin with internet research. As you gain a better understanding of your condition, you will discover what to look for in a treatment specialist. Your dentist should have thorough knowledge of how the TMJ operates, and be willing to take time to diagnose causes in your particular situation. Once your list is narrowed to a few dentists in the Los Angeles area, talk with others – co-workers, family members, and friends who have experienced TMD. Who treated them? Were they satisfied with results?
We are confident that your search will lead to Downtown Dental. For more than 20 years, Dr. Mungcal has been helping patients find TMD relief with specialized treatment. He examines the overall condition of your teeth and checks for dental restorations that aren’t properly fitted. After analyzing your bite, the doctor creates a discreet oral appliance, custom fitted to your mouth. The device is about the size of a mouth guard, made of crystal clear acrylic. The splint aligns your bite to relieve stress on the TMJ. It can be worn at night only, or during the day for additional relief. Dr. Mungcal also talks with you about lifestyle changes that may help to reduce stress-induced TMD.
Don’t let anyone tell you that TMJ pain is “all in your head,” or “you just need to chill out.” Visit the dentist who understands and treats TMD cases regularly, with great success. Call 213-863-9464 for a consultation with Dr. Mungcal.
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Dr. Don Mungcal
Dr. Tara Mavadat
Dr. Ivan Chan
As the cornerstone and founder of Downtown Dental, Dr. Don Mungcal
is a proactive and exceptionally talented dentist who is determined to contribute to the health and wellbeing of his community by attending to their dental care needs.
With over 28 years of experience and service, Dr. Mungcal
makes it his responsibility to be the best version of himself by being his patients’ go-to point for any and all dental concerns. In addition to being meticulous in his work ethic, he is also an individual who understands development and change. He updates and informs himself constantly through various continuous educational programs that he undertakes. He also invests in the latest state-of-the-art technology to provide world-class dental services.
graduated from UCLA
and the University of the Pacific Dental School
and is presently a member of several acclaimed medical associations, including the California Dental Society
Dr. Tara Mavadat
was always passionate about dentistry and is committed to helping patients achieve excellent oral health and beautiful smiles that last long. Having earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of the Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry, she focuses on comprehensive general dentistry with an emphasis on preventive dentistry. Her primary goals are to provide comfort and quality as well as exceptional esthetic outcomes to every patient.
Dr. Ivan Chan
is enthusiastic about dentistry and his patients' oral health and is dedicated to providing compassionate and effective care. He is a highly skilled dentist who received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) at the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry.
Dr. Chan has extensive training in general dentistry. He focuses on creating lasting smiles while attempting to prevent gum disease and cavities. He looks forward to assisting you with all your needs while assuring you that your trust is always in good hands, regardless of your needs!