Joint Disorder Specialist Harriman TN

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.

Victor Morris Byrd, MD
(615) 343-3091
116 Carphilly Cir
Franklin, TN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Louisville Sch Of Med, Louisville Ky 40202
Graduation Year: 1991

Data Provided by:
Indravadan Keshavlal Shah
(423) 624-3406
2339 Mccallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Raymond Jos Enzenauer, MD
(423) 778-4396
9616 Thornberry Dr
Ooltewah, TN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Mo, Columbia Sch Of Med, Columbia Mo 65212
Graduation Year: 1984

Data Provided by:
Glenn C Douglas
(615) 385-7646
4230 Harding Rd
Nashville, TN
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Michael W Bible, MD
(423) 968-2311
271 Medical Park Blvd
Bristol, TN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Tn, Memphis, Coll Of Med, Memphis Tn 38163
Graduation Year: 1976

Data Provided by:
Susan Kroop
(615) 322-3000
3601 Tvc
Nashville, TN
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Aqueel Mohamed Kouser, MD
420 W Morris Blvd Ste 400C
Morristown, TN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Dow Med Coll, Univ Of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan
Graduation Year: 1991

Data Provided by:
Francis Bernard Dove Jr, MD
(615) 284-7845
1818 Patterson St
Nashville, TN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Bowman Gray Sch Of Med Of Wake Forest Univ, Winston-Salem Nc 27157
Graduation Year: 1967

Data Provided by:
Andrew James Head, MD
Memphis, TN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Cincinnati Coll Of Med, Cincinnati Oh 45267
Graduation Year: 1998
Hospital
Hospital: Christ Hosp, Cincinnati, Oh

Data Provided by:
William Mc Kinley Bell, MD
(423) 392-5080
2205 Pavilion Dr Ste 103
Kingsport, TN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Med Univ Of Sc Coll Of Med, Charleston Sc 29425
Graduation Year: 1972

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...