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TMJ Disorders

Kent Auburn Oral Surgery – Auburn WA

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles do not work together correctly. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.

No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely and treatment takes time to become effective. Dr. Feider can help you have a healthier, more comfortable jaw.

Trouble With Your Jaw?

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the “cushion” of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.

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Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

  • Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
  • Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
  • Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
  • Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
  • Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
  • Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
  • Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaws?
  • Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
  • Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
  • Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
  • Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
  • Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?

The more times you answered “yes”, the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they are treated.


There are various treatment options that Dr. Feider can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Dr. Feider will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care combined with professional care.

The initial goals are to relieve the muscle spasms and joint pain. This is usually accomplished with a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant. Steroids can be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. Self-care treatments can often be effective as well and include:

  • Resting your jaw
  • Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
  • Eating soft foods
  • Applying ice and heat
  • Exercising your jaw
  • Practicing good posture

Stress management techniques such as biofeedback or physical therapy may also be recommended, as well as a temporary, clear plastic appliance known as a splint. A splint (or nightguard) fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. A nightguard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night. It also helps to protect the cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, relieves pressure on parts of your jaw, and aids in disk repositioning. It may be worn 24 hours/day to help your jaw heal. An orthotic stabilization appliance is worn 24 hours/day, or just at night, to move your jaw into proper position. Appliances also help protect tooth wear.

What About Bite Correction or Surgery?

If your TMJ disorder has caused problems with how your teeth fit together you may need treatment such as bite adjustment (equilibration), orthodontics with or without jaw reconstruction, or restorative dental work. Surgical options, such as arthroscopy and open joint repair restructuring, are sometimes needed, but are reserved for severe cases. Dr. Feider does not consider TMJ surgery unless the jaw can’t open, is dislocated and non-reducible, has severe degeneration, or the patient has undergone appliance treatment unsuccessfully.

Kent Auburn Oral Surgery

5 out of 5 stars based on 12 THJ Disorders reviews

Patient Review By Carol L

I'm so happy I was referred to this surgeon. Dr.Feider is excellent, his staff are excellent! My implant procedure was completely fearless and painless thanks to this amazing oral surgeon. I highly recommend Dr. Erik Feider.

- Carol L

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Donald M

The Best Dentist and Staff in the Area. Thank You for the great care.

- Donald M

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Elycia B

I was so incredibly nervous and scared for my wisdom teeth removal. When I got to the office for my procedure I shared how I was feeling and the staff was so kind and helped calm me down and make me feel as comfortable as possible. Once I woke up they were patient and made sure I was okay before helping me to my car. Not only did they give very detailed aftercare instructions on paper, they shared it with my partner who drove me to and from to take care of me. I am so happy I chose Dr. Feider and his team to do this procedure, I would highly recommend to anyone in need of oral surgery!!

- Elycia B

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Jamie E

Michele was so nice to me after my surgery. I don’t know how she was able to understand me with all the gauze in my mouth. Hopefully I didn’t annoy her too much hahah.

- Jamie E

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Vicki P

Last summer one of our twins (both now 17) had their wisdom teeth removed (in Kent) and this year the other twin (in Auburn). With each of my kids Dr. Feider was fantastic at setting expectations for them on the experience and options. He focused his attention on them! Both of my kids elected NOT to be under anesthesia which as a parent was very important to me that they got to choose based on their comfort level! Thank you Dr. Feider and Staff for your caring and professional demeanor! Both my kids sailed through the procedure with no issues and recovered quickly! As a side note, this year with COVID, they have also made everything very safe for their patients and themselves with how they are managing interactions and contact, but not at the expense of the care and service they offer! WELL DONE!

- Vicki P

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By saido A

Fast and efficient. Very nice doctor and staff. Answer all questions

- saido A

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By David P

Great Dentist and staff! I would recommend them to anyone ...

- David P

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By David p

Staff and Doctor very informative, caring and helpful. Care was exceptional and I will be returning for another procedure. Highly recommend to any person wanting to have implants done.

- David p

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Kaitlyn and Lily H

My daughters needed their wisdom teeth extractions on the same day. Dr. Fieder and staff were very accommodating. The staff verbally reviewed post op. instructions and we were sent home with written instructions. We diligently followed the instructions and the extraction site healed quickly without discomfort. Everyone was friendly and informative it was a great experience and we appreciate the care they gave us.

- Kaitlyn and Lily H

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Sandee B

Erik Feider and his team are so very impressive! His leading edge new technology and surgical facilities, warm welcoming staff, professional expertise at every turn, and highly experienced personal care have made a huge difference in my implant process. Thank you

- Sandee B

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Ellen J

I am going through the dental implant process now. I am extremely glad I was referred to Dr. Feider. His staff is very caring and professional. He, himself, makes sure you understand what is going to be happening during the procedure and then asks if you have concerns or questions. They called me the day after my extractions to see if I needed anything or was in any pain. I haven't had any pain at all. So if you need any specific dental work done, this is where you want to go!!!!

- Ellen J

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Ellen J

Most people think of dental surgery as very unpleasant, mine was not. Dr. Feider made sure I was ok when I left and the office staff called the next day. My follow up visits have been quick and painless. I would highly recommend Dr. Feider to anyone!

- Ellen J

5 out of 5 stars on
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