Joint Disorder Specialist Sequim WA

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.

Katherine Newhall Perry
(509) 946-1654
875 Swift Blvd
Richland, WA
Specialty
Rheumatology

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Allan Louis Goldman, MD
(414) 961-4009
1100 Pacific Ave Ste 100
Everett, WA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Hahnemann Univ Sch Of Med, Philadelphia Pa 19102
Graduation Year: 1966

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Margaret R Schlesinger
(206) 987-2057
4800 Sand Point Way Ne
Seattle, WA
Specialty
Rheumatology

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Dr.Catherine Lee
(509) 838-2531
400 E 5th Ave # 4W
Spokane, WA
Gender
F
Education
Medical School: Oh State Univ Coll Of Med
Year of Graduation: 1997
Speciality
Rheumatologist
General Information
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
5.0, out of 5 based on 1, reviews.

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David Bong
(360) 397-1500
700 Ne 87th Ave
Vancouver, WA
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

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Stephen Richard Shaul, MD
(509) 248-1232
1111 W Spruce St Ste 28
Yakima, WA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Cornell Univ Med Coll, New York Ny 10021
Graduation Year: 1969

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Dr.Howard Kenney
(509) 838-6500
105 W 8th Ave # 6080
Spokane, WA
Gender
M
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ut Sch Of Med
Year of Graduation: 1977
Speciality
Rheumatologist
General Information
Hospital: Deaconess Med Ctr, Spokane, Wa
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
3.2, out of 5 based on 4, reviews.

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John Edward Z Caner, MD
(206) 325-6023
520 36th Ave E
Seattle, WA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Harvard Med Sch, Boston Ma 02115
Graduation Year: 1956

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Meredith Ann Heick, MD
(509) 747-1144
820 S McClellan St Ste 200
Spokane, WA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Az Coll Of Med, Tucson Az 85724
Graduation Year: 1976

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Sophia S Chang
(509) 547-6086
516 W Margaret St
Pasco, WA
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

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Muscular and Joint Disorders

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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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