TMJ Disorders in Pittsburgh

H1 in Pittsburgh PA

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a small joint located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. It permits the lower jaw (mandible) to move and function. If you are looking to treat your TMJ disorder in Pittsburgh, Dr. Kail and Dr. Moore can help provide you with comforting care that will you get you feeling you again.


TMJ disorder a condition that impacts the jaw joints and ligaments surrounding the jaw which can cause pain, discomfort, headaches, or difficulty opening and closing your mouth. The TMJ is a hinge and gliding joint and is the most constantly used joint in the body. The round upper end of the lower jaw, or the movable portion of the joint, is called the condyle; the socket is called the articular fossa. Between the condyle and the fossa is a disk made of cartilage that acts as a cushion to absorb stress and allows the condyle to move easily when the mouth opens and closes.

Stress may trigger pain in the jaw muscles that is very similar to that caused by TMJ problems. Affected patients frequently clench or grind their teeth at night causing painful spasms in the muscles and difficulty in moving the jaw. Patients may also experience a combination of muscle and joint problems. That is why diagnosing TMJ disorders can be complex and may require different diagnostic procedures.


Determining the cause of a TMJ problem is important, because it is the cause that guides the treatment.

Arthritis is one cause of TMJ symptoms. It can result from an injury or from grinding the teeth at night. Another common cause involves displacement or dislocation of the disk that is located between the jawbone and the socket. A displaced disk may produce clicking or popping sounds, limit jaw movement and cause pain when opening and closing the mouth.The disk can also develop a hole or perforation, which can produce a grating sound with joint movement.

There are also conditions such as trauma or rheumatoid arthritis that can cause the parts of the TMJ to fuse, preventing jaw movement altogether.There are several habits that can make worsen the condition of a TMJ disorder, such as;

  • Chewing on items like bottle caps, plastic, pens, etc
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Sleeping on your stomach
  • Having poor posture
  • Eating food in large bites or chewing on ice cubes
TMJ disorder pittsburgh


Our team at Kail & Moore Oral Surgery is dedicated to providing your quality services that will treat your TMJ disorder or other jaw pain in Pittsburgh, PA. Call our office that is most  convenient for you and let’s start the journey to get you back to feeling like you, again.

Mount Lebanon TMJ treatment

Robinson TMJ treatment

Symptoms for TMJ disorders can vary but could include one or some of the following:

  • Toothache
  • Ringing ears
  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Neck or shoulder pain
  • Swelling or pain in your face and or jaw
  • Hard time opening or closing your mouth
  • Clicking or popping sensation and or sound of your jaw

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder


TMJ disorders are twice as common in women than in men. Between 5-10% of the population have some type of TMJ pain.

When symptoms of TMJ trouble appear, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon should be consulted. A specialist in the areas of the mouth, teeth and jaws, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon is in a good position to correctly diagnose the problem.

Special imaging studies of the joints may be ordered and appropriate referral to other dental or medical specialists or a physical therapist may be made.

TMJ treatment may range from conservative dental and medical care to complex surgery. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment may include short-term non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and muscle relaxation, bite plate or splint therapy, and even stress management counseling.

Generally, if non-surgical treatment is unsuccessful or if there is clear joint damage, surgery may be indicated. Surgery can involve either arthroscopy (the method identical to the orthopaedic procedures used to inspect and treat larger joints such as the knee) or repair of damaged tissue by a direct surgical approach.

Once TMJ disorders are correctly diagnosed, appropriate treatment can be provided.


Although not the first option, having TMJ treatment or even TMJ surgery may be something to consider for you to relieve your jaw from the pain and discomfort you are feeling. Before surgery, our team can walk you through numerous amounts of steps before you get to the point where you need TMJ surgery. If this pain goes uncared for, it can result in chronic pain, not only in your jaw, but also in your neck, shoulders, and even your back. Do not be afraid, give our team a call and we can properly assess what the best options and next steps for you should be.

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When it comes to addressing TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorders, it’s crucial to understand the available surgical solutions in Pittsburgh. TMJ disorders can cause considerable discomfort and hinder your ability to open your mouth with ease. In such cases, seeking effective treatment, including TMJ surgery, becomes imperative.

Arthoscopic Jaw Surgery

Arthroscopic TMJ surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, often conducted as a same-day surgery under general anesthesia. In this approach, the skilled surgeon makes two small incisions in front of the ear, precisely over the TMJ. Through these incisions, they insert a thin tube, called a cannula, into the joint. This allows for direct inspection and manipulation of the joint using a small camera, or arthroscope. Additionally, the surgeon administers medications like pain relievers and steroids to address the underlying issues.

This detailed examination aids in identifying the root causes of TMJ pain and dysfunction, with the added benefit of removing inflamed tissue and promoting tissue healing. The recovery time is relatively short, typically lasting a few days, as pain and swelling subside.

Arthroplasty (Total Joint Replacement) Jaw Surgery

Arthroplasty is a moderately invasive TMJ surgery for more severe cases of TMJ disorders in Pittsburgh. This procedure involves replacing both the ball (mandibular condyle head and cartilage disc) and socket (glenoid fossa) of the TMJ with a custom-made artificial TMJ. This artificial joint is constructed using durable materials like titanium and high-density plastic. The surgery begins with an incision made above and below the ear to access and remove the problematic TMJ. Subsequently, the newly crafted TMJ is securely inserted.

During this surgical process, the surgeon may also address any bony growths, excess tissue, or portions of diseased bone. The end result is a restoration of comfortable and functional movement in the jaw joint, including the ability to open the mouth with ease.

TMJ surgery pittsburgh pa
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How do you prepare for TMJ treatment? Our pre-operation checklist will help to reduce pain and discomfort from the surgery.

Did you have TMJ treatment in Pittsburgh? Our post-operation checklist will help mitigate any potential problems and reduce discomfort.

Are you in pain froma TMJ procedure? Our team has prepared a list of commonly asked questions to help quicken TMJ recovery.


Our team is dedicated to providing quality TMJ problem procedures for those living in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. If you want to schedule a procedure, understand the cost, or have any other questions, please contact our teams located in Mount Lebanon or Robinson and a representative will take care of all your needs.

Donna Snyder
Donna Snyder
Caring, compassionate professionals. I had two molars extracted and had absolutely no swelling and very little discomfort after the surgery. Once I am healed, I am going back for two implants. Don't hesitate to go to this office. I recommend them highly!
Charlene Lariosa
Charlene Lariosa
It’s been a year since Dr. Kail took my wisdom teeth out and I have nothing to complain about. The before and after process went super smooth. The surgery went excellent, and the he prescribed me really great pain killers so I was not in pain after surgery. The price was really great and I would definitely recommend to visit Dr. Kail for wisdom teeth extraction.
Teresa Monier
Teresa Monier
Best oral surgeon in the universe- excellent surgeon and bedside manner is outstanding- excellent and caring staff !!!!
Great place, nice staff! My anxiety was through the roof because of my tooth extraction. He eased my mind about it and it took all of 10 minutes if that. They numbed me, I sat for 10 minutes then he extracted it. In and out. I definitely recommend Dr. Michael Kail!


After your TMJ surgery in Pittsburgh, your Specialist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will guide you through the crucial post-operative phase, ensuring a smooth recovery. These guidelines include:

Dietary Recommendations: During the initial days following the surgery, your diet will be limited to soft, semi-fluid, or liquid-only options. This is essential to protect your healing process.

Oral Hygiene Instructions: Maintaining good oral hygiene is paramount for a speedy recovery and reducing the risk of infection. To achieve this, it’s vital to brush your teeth with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush after meals, snacks, and before bedtime. Using a circular motion and angling the brush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line is recommended. In cases where brushing isn’t feasible, gently wipe your gums and tooth surfaces with a moistened cotton tip.

Exercise Guidance: While in the recovery phase, it’s crucial to avoid strenuous physical activity. Your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon may also prescribe specific physical therapy and jaw exercises to facilitate your jaw’s recuperation.

Medication Advice: Your surgeon will provide recommendations on medications aimed at managing pain and reducing inflammation effectively.

It’s worth noting that contemporary TMJ surgery in Pittsburgh rarely involves jaw wiring. Instead, in certain cases, gentle elastic bands might be used to guide the alignment of your jaws and dental bite without locking them together.

Arthroplasty (Total Joint Replacement) Surgery in Pittsburgh This surgical procedure is reserved for severe cases of TMJ disorder and is typically conducted in Pittsburgh when:

  1. The TMJ or its surfaces have degenerated due to traumatic injury or tumor involvement.
  2. The patient is dealing with severe osteoarthritis (age-related joint dysfunction) or rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease).
  3. There’s excessive bone and tissue growth that obstructs joint movement, resulting in reduced mouth opening and ankylosis, characterized by abnormal joint stiffening due to bone fusion.

This extensive TMJ surgery usually takes around three to four hours to complete and is performed under general anesthesia, requiring a three to five-day hospital stay. In terms of recovery, initial jaw healing typically spans about six weeks post-surgery, with a return to regular activities taking over a month. Patients should plan for a three to four-week work absence, and complete healing may take up to twelve weeks. If you’re considering arthroplasty surgery for TMJ disorder in Pittsburgh, consult with a qualified specialist to discuss your options and ensure the best outcome for your condition.

Why Choose Kail & Moore For TMJ Treatment in Pittsburgh

Our team is dedicated to providing you with quality service and comforting care from the first phone call till your last check-up. Both Dr. Kail and Moore serve as adjunct clinical professors at the University of Pittsburgh and are on staff at UPMC hospitals; they are dedicated to staying on-top-of advancing education in the fields of oral and maxillofacial surgery. With over +20 years of combined practicing experience, Kail and Moore aim to provide the city of Pittsburgh top TMJ disorder solutions, service, and care.

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TMJ surgery is deemed controversial due to the fact that doctors would like to take all other possible steps before conducting the surgery. Most TMJ problems can be resolved with good habits and behaviors.

If you do not take any of the recommended steps to correct your TMJ disorder, you may end up causing permanent damage to the bones in your jaw joints which can lead to surgery being the only option