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TMJ Disorders


doctor showing the temporomandibular joint (tmj) on a skullIf you are experiencing jaw pain or discomfort, the office of Dr. Barrett R. Tolley has experience treating issues that affect the alignment of your jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Dr. Barrett R. Tolley will examine your TMJ for irregularities during your comprehensive or periodic exam in order to detect signs of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

What Does the Temporomandibular Joint Do?


The purpose of your TMJ is to allow your mouth to move both up and down and side to side. When it is properly aligned, your teeth meet in their optimal bite position, allowing regular functions such as chewing and speaking to occur properly and without discomfort.

Normal TMJ function is essential not only for chewing and speaking, but for overall comfort in your jaw. When your TMJ is misaligned, you may experience headaches, extreme pain in the jaw, and ear or sinus infections. We can identify and treat these alignment issues so that you do not experience additional concerns associated with TMD.

How is TMD Treated?


There are several different options for the treatment of TMD or temporomandibular disorder. The original office visit/consultation visit is very important in this process. During your consultation visit, a CBCT scan may be taken at our office in order to check the joints and position of your jaw. Often times, an MRI is also ordered from a nearby imaging facility. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, TMD can be treated with several different methods performed at our office. These including but are not limited to:
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Arthrocentesis:

During this procedure, Dr. Barrett R. Tolley and the surgical team will wash out the jaw joint space with sterile saline and anti-inflammatory steroids to reduce any pain from the jaw joint. The pain is decreased by adhesions in the jaw which increases movement. This in turn will eliminate any negative pressure within the jaw joint, and recover disc and fossa space to improve disc mobility.

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TMJ Nightguard:

This is a plastic piece made by the lab that you fit over your teeth and wear while you are asleep. This will help prevent any clenching and grinding of your teeth throughout the night.

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Modified Condylotomy:

This is a surgical procedure which increases joint space by allowing the mandibular condyle of the TMJ to move inferiorly with respect to the articular disc and eminence.

During your office visit/consultation with Dr. Tolley, he will discuss which option may be best for you.
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