Joint Disorder Specialist Havelock NC

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.

Garland Radford Moeller
(252) 447-7088
532 Webb Blvd
Havelock, NC
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Kevin Michael Mc Knight, MD
(252) 726-3300
PO Box 519
Morehead City, NC
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Creighton Univ Sch Of Med, Omaha Ne 68178
Graduation Year: 1986

Data Provided by:
Thomas C Sundberg, MD
(704) 365-0760
3535 Randolph Rd Ste 300W
Charlotte, NC
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Wurzburg, Med Fak, Wurzburg, Germany (407-20 Pr 1/71)
Graduation Year: 1976
Hospital
Hospital: Presbyterian Hospital, Charlotte, Nc; Carolinas Med Ctr For Mental H, Charlotte, Nc
Group Practice: Mecklenburg Medical Group Inc

Data Provided by:
Aldona Ziolkowska
(336) 510-9873
2209 Eastchester Dr
High Point, NC
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Ahmad Kashif
(704) 342-0252
1918 Randolph Rd
Charlotte, NC
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Garland Radford Moeller, MD
(252) 447-7088
532 Webb Blvd
Havelock, NC
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Languages
Spanish
Education
Medical School: Duke Univ Sch Of Med, Durham Nc 27710
Graduation Year: 1977
Hospital
Hospital: Craven Reg Med Authority, New Bern, Nc
Group Practice: Eastern Carolina Internal Medicine Pa

Data Provided by:
David Donald Fraser, MD
(919) 633-1010
2001 Grenville Ct
New Bern, NC
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: East Carolina Univ Sch Of Med, Greenville Nc 27858
Graduation Year: 1986

Data Provided by:
John Joseph Zieminski
(336) 373-0611
1511 Westover Ter
Greensboro, NC
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Ahmad Kashif, MD
(704) 342-8000
7436 Willesden Ln
Charlotte, NC
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Cairo, Fac Of Med, Cairo, Egypt (330-02 Prior 1/71)
Graduation Year: 1982

Data Provided by:
Douglas G Freeman Jr, MD
(919) 781-9633
5011 Brookhaven Dr
Raleigh, NC
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Duke Univ Sch Of Med, Durham Nc 27710
Graduation Year: 1968

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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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