Joint Disorder Specialist Ardmore OK

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.

Thomas B Leahey
(580) 226-2202
1505 N Commerce St Ste 202
Ardmore, OK
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Amr H Sawalha
(405) 271-8478
825 Ne 10th St
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Christine Ellen Codding, MD
(405) 737-6600
1044 SW 44th St Ste 620
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ok Coll Of Med, Oklahoma City Ok 73190
Graduation Year: 1986

Data Provided by:
Robert Eugene Arthur
(405) 230-9000
1110 N Lee Ave
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
William Martin Schnitz, MD
(405) 949-6481
5700 N Portland Ave # 210
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ok Coll Of Med, Oklahoma City Ok 73190
Graduation Year: 1987
Hospital
Hospital: Integris Baptist Med Ctr, Oklahoma City, Ok
Group Practice: Internal Medicine

Data Provided by:
Thomas B Leahey, DO
(580) 226-2202
1505 N Commerce St Ste 202
Ardmore, OK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of N Tx Hlth Sci Ctr, Tx Coll Osteo Med, Ft Worth Tx 76107
Graduation Year: 1984

Data Provided by:
Robert Lewis Wortmann, MD
(918) 660-3456
2815 S Sheridan Rd
Tulsa, OK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ks Sch Of Med, Kansas City Ks 66103
Graduation Year: 1971

Data Provided by:
Kathleen M O'Neil
(405) 271-7086
940 Ne 13th St
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Ellen Irene Zanetakis, MD
(918) 748-8024
2424 E 21st St Ste 500
Tulsa, OK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Northeastern Oh Univs Coll Of Med, Rootstown Oh 44272
Graduation Year: 1982
Hospital
Hospital: Hillcrest Med Ctr, Tulsa, Ok; St John Med Ctr, Tulsa, Ok
Group Practice: Oklahoma Center-Arthritis Thrp

Data Provided by:
John Barker Harley, MD
(405) 271-6655
825 NE 10th St # OUPB4400
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Pa Sch Of Med, Philadelphia Pa 19104
Graduation Year: 1975

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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

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