What is TMJ and what causes it? Speak to Los Angeles dental practice about diagnosis and treatment


Dr. Don Mungcal of Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles patients seeking quality oral health services and treatment are welcome to contact the team of Downtown Dental. Dr. Don Mungcal and his staff are committed to helping patients achieve beautiful, healthy smiles—and smiles that do not impact their quality of life. When conditions such as TMJ disorder (TMD) become an issue, patients need to start working with a professional who can provide solutions.

What is TMJ/TMD?

TMJ is short for “temporomandibular joint.” This is the jaw joint that is used to hinge the lower jaw to the skull, so it can open and close for eating and speaking. There are times when patients may experience dysfunction of this joint and the surrounding muscles. This can result in issues such as:
  • Pain from the shoulders to the ears
  • Chronic discomfort
  • Clicking and popping of the jaw joint
  • Soreness around the cheek area to the ears
  • Damage to the natural teeth from clenching and grinding
  • Locking jaw joints

When these issues occur, it is essential that patients get a proper diagnosis to discuss treatment. The chronic problems may indicate TMD, or temporomandibular disorder. This is a constant or permanent malfunction of the joint and muscles that contribute to an ongoing problem for patients — and treatment options need to be seriously discussed with a professional.

Call our office more information
New Patients: (213) 863-9464 | Existing Patients: (213) 620-5777

What causes it?

TMJ/TMD does not have a specific cause. It is not known to be genetic or be linked to any specific condition that may increase one’s risk of experiencing it. However, thanks to proper diagnosis, patients can speak to their dentist about treatment options to control the condition and reduce pain and discomfort. This will improve a patient’s overall quality of life.

How is the condition treated?

Treatment for TMD typically starts with oral appliance therapy. This is the use of a specialized mouth guard made for a patient to wear during the night or day to help align the jaw and reduce the pressure that can be caused from the condition. Pressure and tightness can cause the muscles to become fatigued and painful. While wearing the oral appliance, this can greatly reduce pain and discomfort. This can be done in conjunction with neuromuscular exercises that help strengthen the muscles around the jaw and reduce the chances of associated problems. In very severe cases, patients may be referred to a specialist who can provide jaw surgery if the problem cannot be resolved with the use of oral appliance therapy and neuromuscular exercises.

Why treat TMD?

Dr. Don Mungcal and his staff are committed to helping patients achieve beautiful, healthy smiles
The discomfort caused by this condition can become chronic and troublesome. It can be difficult for patients to get through the day without pain or experiencing jaws locking. This can greatly reduce their quality of life, causing patients to live with pain and discomfort. Instead, with treatment, patients can reduce or eliminate the need for pain relievers to mask the problem. Patients who treat TMJ/TMD may also enjoy the benefits of stronger, healthier teeth. This is because many patients who have the condition also have bruxism – clenching and grinding of the teeth. When this happens, it can wear down the natural enamel on the teeth and permanently damage them. Additionally, patients who have restorations such as bridges or crowns may notice their restorations are constantly breaking or cracking and require replacement. This is sometimes an indication that bruxism exists, and a dentist such as Dr. Don Mungcal will be able to notice when this is becoming a chronic problem. With proper treatment, patients can maintain their smile and enjoy comfort every day.

What if oral appliance therapy doesn’t work for me?

Oral appliance therapy has a high success rate, but there are patients who may still require jaw surgery or even orthodontic treatment to align the jaw and permanently treat the condition.

Schedule a visit with Dr. Don Mungcal today!

Call our practice to learn more about the advantages of diagnosis and treatment of TMJ/TMD for improved quality of life. Our front office team can be reached to make an appointment by calling (213) 863-9464 and our practice, Downtown Dental, is conveniently located at 55 South Grand Avenue, Ste. 204.

Contact Us

Name *
Email *
Phone *
Message *


"I am a legit Patient at this practice. The Doctor is amazing - educated, skilled and patient. Allison, my Dental Hygienist, is really friendly, knowledgeable and proactive about her patients' oral health. In my experience, the office staff at Downtown Dental is always professional, friendly, and thoughtful about my time. Plus, they offer reasonable financing! If you're honest about your budget (for people like me who don't have dental insurance), they can often work with you to stay within budget. I also learned that they use the best equipment in their field and staff gets training often on new dental techniques. If you are someone who works, resides or likes to visit Downtown - this is an especially excellent place to see the dentist periodically.

Downtown Dental is a fantastic Dental practice in the heart of the city. They are located near LA's Cultural hub of museums, concert halls and the like (The Broad, MOCA + more ). But don't let all that (magic) discourage you from making your appointment, because traffic is usually very smooth on Grand and getting in and out of their secure and validated parking lot (in their building) is a breeze. They also have 2 e-car charging stations if that's how you roll. If you work in DTLA, like many, you can even get a lunchtime cleaning!

Sidebar: The office is located inside a gorgeous apartment building, full of high end furnishings, accentuated with stunning street art. You may have even passed by & seen the Subway flags at street level- the dental office is right upstairs. It's worth a try, especially if you want great oral health, love art, culture and the city!"
"Still the best I've ever been to! The entire staff is more than knowledgeable & helpful!

Don't waste your time going to other places, this dentist & his team are your best bet!

They are courteous, flexible, and above all: PROFESSIONAL."
"What an amazing staff and dental team!!

I had four front crowns and 2 root canals done all in about 3 hours! It was pain free! Dr Mungcal was fast and I didn't feel a thing! People compliment my teeth all the time! ...Little do they know they're fake! Very grateful!!! I am in Invisalign now and love how it stopped me from clenching and grinding my teeth! My teeth and gums are healthy because of all the amazing dental work they have done and continue to do!! Oh ...And they offered nitrous which made the whole experience awesome! Go here if you want dental work done right!!"
"Downtown dental made my cavity experience as painless as possible, and the technology they use is so up to date and accurate.

The staff are also very friendly and know the best habits for having a healthy mouth.
So glad I started going here!"
"Absolutely the best dental office! In all reality I used to hate going to the dentist I would cancel my appointments at my old Drs office all the time !! But the Hygienists and the staff in general are so welcoming and make you wanna keep coming back. They are always ready to deliver and Allison did an amazing job on my teeth cleaning thank you for that"
"This review is long overdue. I've been a patient at downtown dental since 2005 and have had nothing but positive experiences. I've had quite a bit of dental work and when I had a cracked crown recently, they scheduled me the next day and replaced it at no charge. They would have scheduled me that day but sadly, I'm no longer a patient as I've moved to NorCal. I felt like they really went out of the way to accommodate me and I appreciate that! Thanks guys!!"
"Great practice, the doctors and assistants are very professional, helpful and pleasant. They make dental appointments almost enjoyable...not something I thought possible!

Katie the hygienist is not only gentle, professional and very professional but also inspiring. She makes you want to have the best gums in Los Angeles.

Thank you guys!"
"The team at Downtown Dental are the best! They have done both an implant and Invisalign for me. They keep me informed about all the steps and always get me in and out quickly! I love that they can do everything right in their own offices too."
"My story is: I chipped a took eating cereal! Who does that!?! (The cereal was crunchy I'll admit). I went to Downtown Dental and Dr. Mungcal evaluated my situation and realized my bite needed to be adjusted. I grind my teeth at night also so the combination of it all was wearing my teeth down. He recommended invisalign to align my bite. I was hesitant because it's pricey but...trust me...it was SO WORTH IT!!! 8 months later, my bite is fixed and aligned and my teeth are straighter which is a bonus! I am only 34 and I want to keep my teeth healthy and strong for a long time! Dr. Mungcal and the entire staff are amazing and took GREAT care of me. You can rest assured you will be taken care of by them!"
"Came to downtown dental with my husband for his first dental implant. He was very nervous on getting this procedure done.. From his experience he said the staff were super friendly made him feel very welcomed..the dentist made his procedure quick and painless my husband didn't even need his medication for the swelling or pain ... Highly recommend... We Will be coming here from now on for our dental needs."

Oral Cancer Screening Video

Get Social with Us

Call Us
New Patients:
Existing Patients :