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.

William Edward Serafin, MD
(615) 386-6220
2002 Richard Jones Rd
Nashville, TN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Vanderbilt Univ Sch Of Med, Nashville Tn 37232
Graduation Year: 1979

Data Provided by:
Mohammad Farooq Ali
(615) 822-5660
353 New Shackle Island Rd
Hendersonville, TN
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
James E Gore
(615) 385-7646
4230 Harding Rd
Nashville, TN
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Hillary Kaplan, MD
(615) 899-0431
6624 Lee Hwy
Chattanooga, TN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Case Western Reserve Univ Sch Of Med, Cleveland Oh 44106
Graduation Year: 1993

Data Provided by:
David Gordon Petty, MD
886 Highway 411 N
Etowah, TN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Vanderbilt Univ Sch Of Med, Nashville Tn 37232
Graduation Year: 1982

Data Provided by:
Robert Franklin Adams, MD
388 S Pauline St
Memphis, TN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Tn, Memphis, Coll Of Med, Memphis Tn 38163
Graduation Year: 1963
Hospital
Hospital: Methodist Univ Hosp, Memphis, Tn
Group Practice: Arthritis Group Pc

Data Provided by:
Eli Steigelfest
(615) 385-7646
4230 Harding Rd
Nashville, TN
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Sivalingam Kanagasegar
(931) 456-5515
49 Cleveland St
Crossville, TN
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Donley D Siddall, MD
PO Box 553
Collegedale, TN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Loma Linda Univ Sch Of Med, Loma Linda C
Graduation Year: 1970

Data Provided by:
Emilio J Rodriguez
(931) 388-9706
1114 W 7th St
Columbia, TN
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

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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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