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TMD / TMJ Disorders | Dentists University Place

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The temporomandibular joints, called TMJ, are the joints and jaw muscles that make it possible to open and close your mouth. Located on each side of the head, your TMJ work together when you chew, speak or swallow and include muscles and ligaments as well as the jaw bone. They also control the lower jaw (mandible) as it moves forward, backward and side to side.

Each TMJ has a disc between the ball and socket. The disc cushions the load while enabling the jaw to open widely and rotate or glide. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working properly may result in a painful TMJ disorder.

Possible causes of TMJ disorders include:

  • arthritis

  • dislocation

  • injury

  • tooth and jaw alignment

  • stress and teeth grinding


Diagnosis is an important step before treatment. Part of the dental examination includes checking the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving. Depending on the diagnosis, the dentist may refer you to a physician or another dentist.

There are several treatments for TMJ disorders. This step-by-step plan from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research allows you to try simple treatment before moving on to more involved treatment. The NIDCR also recommends a “less is often best” approach in treating TMJ disorders, which includes:

  • eating softer foods

  • avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails

  • modifying the pain with heat packs

  • practicing relaxation techniques to control jaw tension, such as meditation or biofeedback.



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Your life is always busy and you can't make time for your dental visit. Light Dental Studios now offers same day, Saturday and evening appointments. Imagine that your entire family can be seen in just one visit. Not only are we bigger, but we also provide all specialty services under one roof. Find an office near you to get started today!




Our University Place dental office provides the highest quality of dental care at all levels. Our dentists in University Place focus on your comfort while providing the latest methods and technology in professional dental care. Contact our University Place Light Dental Studios today!


Light Dental Studios of University Place

Address: 7210 40th St W #320, University Place, WA 98466

Phone: (253) 565-1145

Fax: (253) 565-5228

universityplace@lightdentalstudios.com


Office Hours

Monday: 8AM-7PM
Tuesday: 7AM-7PM
Wednesday: 8AM-5PM
Thursday: 7AM-7PM
Friday: 8AM-5PM
Saturday: 8AM-3PM

Same Day, Evening and Saturday Appointments



Let's get together to find out what your smile needs.

Our friendly & experienced University Place dental team can sit with you to go over some of the treatment options you may need. Come visit our University Place dentists' office today!

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