Joint Disorder Specialist Anchorage AK

Unfortunately, despite decades of research, we still don’t know what causes TMJD. But strong evidence suggests excessive use of the jaw muscles (grinding or clenching the teeth and jaws, known as bruxis), trauma tothe joint from an accident, and, of course, stress all play a role.

Michael Brant Armstrong, MD
(907) 277-4012
2841 Debarr Rd Ste 44
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Vt Coll Of Med, Burlington Vt 05405
Graduation Year: 1967

Data Provided by:
Elizabeth D Ferucci
(907) 729-1500
4315 Diplomacy Dr
Anchorage, AK
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Michael Armstrong
(907) 277-1375
2841 Debarr Rd Ste 44
Anchorage, AK
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Elizabeth D Ferucci
(907) 729-1500
4315 Diplomacy Dr
Anchorage, AK
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
David Templin, MD
(907) 257-1263
4315 Diplomacy Dr
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Wa Sch Of Med, Seattle Wa 98195
Graduation Year: 1959

Data Provided by:
Elizabeth D Ferucci, MD
(907) 729-1500
4315 Diplomacy Dr
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: New York Univ Med Coll, New York
Graduation Year: 1997

Data Provided by:
Lee Herbert Schlosstein, MD
(907) 563-3929
3730 Rhone Cir Ste 202
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: St Louis Univ Sch Of Med, St Louis Mo 63104
Graduation Year: 1964
Hospital
Hospital: Alaska Reg Hosp, Anchorage, Ak; Providence Alaska Med Ctr, Anchorage, Ak
Group Practice: Geneva Woods Diagnostic Svc

Data Provided by:
David Templin, MD
(907) 257-1263
4315 Diplomacy Dr
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Wa Sch Of Med, Seattle Wa 98195
Graduation Year: 1959

Data Provided by:
Elizabeth D Ferucci, MD
(907) 729-1500
4315 Diplomacy Dr
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: New York Univ Med Coll, New York
Graduation Year: 1997

Data Provided by:
John Michael Krehlik, MD
(907) 789-6766
9309 Glacier Hwy
Juneau, AK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Chicago, Pritzker Sch Of Med, Chicago Il 60637
Graduation Year: 1975
Hospital
Hospital: Bartlett Reg Hosp, Juneau, Ak
Group Practice: Juneau Med Clnc

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Muscular and Joint Disorders

Provided by: 

By Sam Dworkin, dds, phd, professor emeritus of psychiatry, behavioral sciences and oral medicine at the University of Washington Schools of Medicine and Dentistry

Assuming your dentist has already ruled out arthritis or a traumatic injury as the cause of your TMJD, yes, natural treatments will ease the pain without surgery or heavy drugs. TMJD (temporomandibular muscle and joint disorders) refers to problems with the chewing muscles (the masseter in your cheek and temporalis by your temple) or temporomandibular joint that cause persistent pain and even jaw lock. TMJD affects women much more than men (80 percent of people seeking treatment are female)—specifically women in their reproductive years (18 to 45). While no clear reason for this disparity exists, women appear to have less effective pain control during the low estrogen part of their cycle (right before and during menstruation), and the rapid fluctuations in estrogen throughout the reproductive years also seem to increase pain. This may partially explain why TMJD pain occurs much less frequently in postmenopausal women who are not on hormone replacement therapy—HRT has been linked to higher likelihood of jaw pain.

Unfortunately, despite decades of research, we still don’t know what causes TMJD. But strong evidence suggests excessive use of the jaw muscles (grinding or clenching the teeth and jaws, known as bruxis), trauma tothe joint from an accident, and, of course, stress all play a role. Stress causes widespread changes in your body—almost all of them negative—from increased muscle tension to neurological changes and even depression. Managing stress, dealing with bottled-up emotions, and a little TLC for your TMJ will help you alleviate, and possibly eliminate, your pain.

Getting to know your pain
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly effective in treating chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. CBT helps you notice your body’s reaction to stress—how stress heightens pain and other symptoms (think tension in the body and jaw). It then offers simple techniques like guided imagery and relaxation exercises to reduce not only the experience of stress but also its impact on the body—increased muscle tension, heart rate, and blood pressure, all of which exacerbate pain everywhere in the body. It’s best to work with a trained CBT therapist, but start with this simple exercise:
Counter the tension in the jaw by licking your lips slightly and then swallowing. Allow the jaw to remain in the position it naturally takes immediately after swallowing—teeth slightly apart and lips lightly touching. This natural position leaves the big chewing muscles relaxed. Practice this for three to five minutes several times a day.
Monitor your pain. A couple of times a day, take a moment to rate your pain on a scale from zero to 10, and look for patterns over time. Is your pain worse in the mornings? Do certain emotions affect it? What seems to trigger or relieve the pain?

TLC...

Author: Sam Dworkin, dds, phd

Copyright 1999-2009 Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living/Alternative Medicine/InnoVisi...