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TMJ/TMD Therapy

Restoring Smiles with Excellence

TMJ Therapy & Facial Pain Relief

If you are reading this, you’re likely looking for answers to your TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) problem. TMJ is a popular term used to describe a disorder of the jaw joints, chewing muscles and bite. Symptoms can masquerade as a multitude of other problems such as sinus headaches, migraines, neck and shoulder stiffness, earaches and tooth problems. These symptoms can be caused by an instability of your chewing system and can be successfully treated at my Tupelo, MS dental office.

Robert H. Thornton, DMD

Tupelo’s TMJ Dentist

I enjoy all aspects of Dentistry but I am especially passionate about the therapeutic treatments that produce big changes in my patients’ lives. Many of my family members, myself included, have suffered from TMJ and Airway Dysfunction. Early on in my practice, I felt a calling to help people who were suffering from these types of complex issues. Many of my patients were suffering from TMJ disorders, bite problems, muscle pain, facial pain, headache pain, and jaw problems. I recognized that there was a piece of the puzzle that was missing and that there was a need for more advanced Dentistry in North Mississippi.

In 2008, I embarked upon a 4-year journey to further advance my skills in the diagnosis and treatment of complex patient cases involving degenerating chewing systems using Bioesthetic Principles, which focuses on complete dental restorative treatment for patients who have (TMJ) temporomandibular joint issues. I am a Level 4 Graduate having completed all 4 levels of training at The OBI Foundation for Bioesthetic Dentistry. I also had the privilege of becoming an OBI Board of Director Officer, in October 2022, and enjoy serving with colleagues.

More About Dr. Thornton

Proven TMJ Relief with MAGO Therapy

If you believe you have TMJ disorder, and you’re searching for relief from your pain and symptoms, I urge you to consider my advanced treatment option called MAGO Therapy. MAGO stands for Maxillary Anterior Guided Orthotic. A MAGO is a device that is worn over the teeth and adjusted weekly. This non-surgical, minimally-invasive therapeutic approach is one of the single most effective methods for providing long-term TMD relief. Through this method, the proper alignment of the jaw joints in their resting position can be determined with extreme accuracy. This data can then be used to calibrate an oral split that provides precise positioning for optimal results and lasting relief. To date, MAGO Therapy is the ONLY type of splint therapy that has been scientifically proven to help with TMJ problems.

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Splint Therapy

During treatment, the MAGO Splint is inserted into the patient’s mouth and fitted over the teeth. The patient continues to wear the splint throughout the duration of therapy. Adjustments to the device are made periodically in order to coax the TMJs to shift gradually and move the jaw into a stable, healthy position.

Once each week, you will visit my office so we can check up on your progress. During your visit, I will observe, measure, and document the position of your jaw, also known as your “hinge axis.” Then, based on these measurements, I will make any necessary adjustments to the device.

Making these adjustments helps to correct the alignment of your jaw so that the facial muscles can relax. When the muscles relax, they are no longer pulling on your TMJs, allowing them to move into their proper position. Through this process, we should be able to resolve most, if not all, of your pain and symptoms. This phase of the treatment process usually lasts about 4-12 weeks. However, every patient is different, and in some cases, the length of therapy may need to be extended.

Diagnosing Underlying Issues

Once the first phase of treatment is complete, we can go on to the next step, which is diagnosing the underlying issues that caused your jaw to become unstable in the first place.

Splint therapy is effective for treating TMJ symptoms and repositioning the TMJs. However, it does not solve the problem of why your jaw joints and muscles reacted this way to begin with. Therefore, in order to resolve your symptoms long-term, we need to get down to the root cause of your condition.

This means identifying the biologic issues that are present, such as worn down or misaligned teeth, teeth overcrowding, abnormal bite patterns, misshapen teeth, and other potential concerns.

Minimally-Invasive Approach

Discover the Benefits of MAGO Therapy

Many of my patients are able to obtain relief from their symptoms in just a few short weeks of MAGO Therapy. Some of the advantages of this method are:

• High rate of success: Debilitating symptoms can be reduced or, in some cases, even eliminated entirely.

• Accuracy: Once the jaw joints are stable, an accurate diagnosis can be obtained. An accurate diagnosis is essential for treatment to be successful.

• Scientifically proven: The MAGO Splint is the only occlusal device that has been scientifically proven to reduce TMD symptoms.

• Minimally invasive: MAGO Therapy is a minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment option that allows the patient to remain generally comfortable throughout the process.

• Faster relief: Patients are generally able to obtain relief faster with MAGO Therapy than with joint surgery. It may take months for a patient to fully recover from surgery and experience the benefits of their treatment.

Comprehensive Restorative Solutions

Biologic & Minimally Invasive Dental Treatments

The final phase in the treatment process once we have a diagnosis is to restore your dental system back to full health. We can do this by correcting any biologic issues at hand with holistic, minimally invasive treatments.

Your treatment plan may include several components, but rest assured that we will be as conservative as possible. Not only will this help you remain comfortable throughout the process, but it will also provide you with better, longer lasting results.

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Consult the Leading Expert for TMJ Pain & Facial Pain Relief

I am honored to be Tupelo’s trusted TMJ Dentist. If your symptoms aren’t going away or are seriously impacting your comfort or daily life, it’s important that you seek professional help from a TMJ Specialist. I invite you to contact my office to schedule a consultation.

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