Joint Disorder Specialist New Orleans LA

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.

Seth Henry Pincus, MD
(504) 568-6221
1542 Tulane Ave Ste 415
New Orleans, LA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: New York Univ Sch Of Med, New York Ny 10016
Graduation Year: 1973

Data Provided by:
Mittie Kelleher Doyle, MD
New Orleans, LA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Yale Univ Sch Of Med, New Haven Ct 06510
Graduation Year: 1990

Data Provided by:
Ranju Singh, MD
(732) 775-5500
1542 Tulane Ave
New Orleans, LA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Med Coll, Guru Nanak Dev Univ, Amritsar, Punjab, India
Graduation Year: 1993

Data Provided by:
Kismet Renee Collins, MD
(504) 488-1911
3535 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Tulane Univ Sch Of Med, New Orleans La 70112
Graduation Year: 1982

Data Provided by:
Merlin Robert Wilson Jr, MD
(504) 899-1120
2633 Napoleon Ave Ste 530
New Orleans, LA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: La State Univ Sch Of Med In New Orleans, New Orleans La 70112
Graduation Year: 1968

Data Provided by:
Evangeline G Scopelitis, MD
(504) 568-4939
1542 Tulane Ave Ste A49
New Orleans, LA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Suny-Hlth Sci Ctr At Syracuse, Coll Of Med, Syracuse Ny 13210
Graduation Year: 1973

Data Provided by:
Wendell Alexius Wilson, MD
2020 Gravier St
New Orleans, LA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of West Indies, Fac Med Sci, Kingston, Jamaica (566-01 Eff 1/71)
Graduation Year: 1968

Data Provided by:
Luis R Espinoza, MD
(504) 568-4630
1542 Tulane Ave
New Orleans, LA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Prog Acad De Med, Lima, Peru
Graduation Year: 1969

Data Provided by:
Reginald Drew Sanders, MD
(504) 899-1120
2633 Napoleon Ave Ste 530
New Orleans, LA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: La State Univ Sch Of Med In New Orleans, New Orleans La 70112
Graduation Year: 1972

Data Provided by:
Nirupa Jash Patel
(504) 896-1440
2820 Napoleon Ave
New Orleans, LA
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

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...