Joint Disorder Specialist Hilo HI

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.

Donald Ames Person, MD
(808) 433-6709
1 Jarrett White Rd
Tamc, HI
Specialties
Pediatrics, Pediatric Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Mn Med Sch-Minneapolis, Minneapolis Mn 55455
Graduation Year: 1963
Hospital
Hospital: Tripler Army Med Ctr, Honolulu, Hi

Data Provided by:
Dennis W Boulware
(808) 432-0000
3288 Moanalua Rd
Honolulu, HI
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Theresa Danao Camara, MD
(808) 522-4522
888 S King St
Honolulu, HI
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of The Philippines, Coll Of Med, Manila, Philippines
Graduation Year: 1984

Data Provided by:
Eiichi Furuta, MD
(808) 372-5825
469 Ena Rd Apt 1208
Honolulu, HI
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Kyushu Univ, Fac Of Med, Higashiku, Fukuoka, Japan
Graduation Year: 1989

Data Provided by:
Denny Akira Nakayama, MD
(808) 545-4660
321 N Kuakini St Ste 814
Honolulu, HI
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Co Sch Of Med, Denver Co 80262
Graduation Year: 1976

Data Provided by:
Panu Limpisvasti, MD
(808) 528-4577
1520 Liliha St Ste 701
Honolulu, HI
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Chiang Mai Univ, Fac Of Med, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Graduation Year: 1968

Data Provided by:
Alberto S Santos-Ocampo
(808) 522-3232
888 S King St
Honolulu, HI
Specialty
Rheumatology

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Kara S Yamamoto
(808) 983-8394
1319 Punahou St
Honolulu, HI
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Mary Ann Antonelli, MD
(808) 586-7460
1356 Lusitana St Fl 7
Honolulu, HI
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Suny-Hlth Sci Ctr At Syracuse, Coll Of Med, Syracuse Ny 13210
Graduation Year: 1970

Data Provided by:
Janice Kwai Hou Zane, MD
(808) 432-2366
1010 Pensacola St
Honolulu, HI
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Hi John A Burns Sch Of Med, Honolulu Hi 96822
Graduation Year: 1982

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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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