Joint Disorder Specialist Pacific MO

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.

Sanjay Ghosh, MD
(636) 390-2288
1080 Caroline Dr Ste 200
Washington, MO
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: St Louis Univ Sch Of Med, St Louis Mo 63104
Graduation Year: 1988
Hospital
Hospital: Missouri Baptist Hospital -Su, Sullivan, Mo; St Johns Mercy Med Ctr, Saint Louis, Mo
Group Practice: Arthritis-Internal Med & Pain

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James H Esther
(314) 205-6444
226 S Woods Mill Rd
Chesterfield, MO
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Keith A Bernstein
(314) 878-6260
224 S Woods Mill Rd
Chesterfield, MO
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Cameron Bruce Jones, MD
(314) 434-3240
224 S Woods Mill Rd
Chesterfield, MO
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ks Sch Of Med, Kansas City Ks 66103
Graduation Year: 1976

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Dr.James H Esther
(314) 205-6444
226 S Woods Mill Rd
Chesterfield, MO
Gender
M
Education
Medical School: Northwestern Univ Med Sch
Year of Graduation: 1976
Speciality
Rheumatologist
General Information
Hospital: St. Lukes
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
5.0, out of 5 based on 2, reviews.

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Linda Marie Klutho, MD
(314) 878-6260
224 S Woods Mill Rd Ste 500S
Chesterfield, MO
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Mo, Columbia Sch Of Med, Columbia Mo 65212
Graduation Year: 1984

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Faye C Cohen
(314) 205-6444
226 S Woods Mill Rd
Chesterfield, MO
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

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Keith Allan Bernstein, MD
(314) 878-6260
224 S Woods Mill Rd Ste 500S
Chesterfield, MO
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Mo-Kansas City Sch Of Med, Kansas City Mo 64108
Graduation Year: 1987

Data Provided by:
Anne Herron, MD
(314) 275-8600
222 S Woods Mill Rd Ste 750N
Chesterfield, MO
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Coll Dublin, Nat'L Univ Of Ireland, Fac Of Med, Dublin
Graduation Year: 1965

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Robert Calvin Uchiyama, MD
(314) 576-0933
226 S Woods Mill Rd Ste 58W
Chesterfield, MO
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: St Louis Univ Sch Of Med, St Louis Mo 63104
Graduation Year: 1980

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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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