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, 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

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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:
Mary Katherine Farmer
(919) 966-1072
101 Manning Dr
Chapel Hill, NC
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Jesse Earle Roberts, MD
(919) 326-1100
3333 Silas Creek Pkwy
Winston Salem, NC
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: La State Univ Sch Of Med In New Orleans, New Orleans La 70112
Graduation Year: 1961

Data Provided by:
George B Brothers Jr, MD
(919) 490-8115
4202 Champaign Dr
Durham, NC
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tufts Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02111
Graduation Year: 1976

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

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:
Ioana Cristiana Stanescu, MD
(618) 463-8562
2809 McLamb Pl
Goldsboro, NC
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Inst De Med Si Farm, Carol Davila, Bucharest, Romania
Graduation Year: 1989

Data Provided by:
Douglas Lee Metcalf, MD
(336) 768-6161
1900 S Hawthorne Rd Ste 652
Winston Salem, NC
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Bowman Gray Sch Of Med Of Wake Forest Univ, Winston-Salem Nc 27157
Graduation Year: 1976

Data Provided by:
Dr.Gary Maniloff
(704) 342-0252
1918 Randolph Road
Charlotte, NC
Gender
M
Education
Medical School: Tel Aviv Univ, Sackler Fac Of Med, Tel Aviv
Year of Graduation: 1981
Speciality
Rheumatologist
General Information
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
4.3, out of 5 based on 7, reviews.

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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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