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:
Elizabeth Taylor Albert, MD
(405) 749-7025
4200 W Memorial Rd
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Duke Univ Sch Of Med, Durham Nc 27710
Graduation Year: 1987
Hospital
Hospital: Integris Baptist Med Ctr, Oklahoma City, Ok; Mercy Health Center, Oklahoma City, Ok

Data Provided by:
Ira N Targoff, MD
(405) 271-6655
825 NE 13th St
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: A Einstein Coll Of Med Of Yeshiva Univ, Bronx Ny 10461
Graduation Year: 1975

Data Provided by:
Petrina Joslin
(918) 683-0753
350 S 40th St
Muskogee, OK
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Douglas William White, MD
(918) 492-3636
5020 E 68th St
Tulsa, OK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ia Coll Of Med, Iowa City Ia 52242
Graduation Year: 2000

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:
Petrina Joslin, MD
(918) 683-0753
350 S 40th St
Muskogee, OK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ok Coll Of Med, Oklahoma City Ok 73190
Graduation Year: 1991

Data Provided by:
Morris Reichlin, MD
(405) 271-6655
825 NE 13th St # C308
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Washington Univ Sch Of Med, St Louis Mo 63110
Graduation Year: 1959
Hospital
Hospital: University Hospital, Oklahoma City, Ok
Group Practice: Department Of Medicine Univ Of Ok Health Sciences Ctr; Ou Physicians

Data Provided by:
Judith A James
(405) 271-8478
825 Ne 10th St
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Larry Grant Willis
(405) 230-9000
1110 N Lee Ave
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
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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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