Joint Disorder Specialist Westerly RI

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.

Christopher A D'Arcy, MD
45 Wells St
Westerly, RI
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Brown Univ Program In Med, Providence Ri 02912
Graduation Year: 1996

Data Provided by:
Dr.Wendy Silversmith
(401) 348-2180
45 Wells St # 203B
Westerly, RI
Gender
F
Speciality
Rheumatologist
General Information
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
4.8, out of 5 based on 3, reviews.

Data Provided by:
Rekha Agrawal, MD
(860) 825-9125
600 Meridian Street Ext Apt 105
Groton, CT
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Rnt Med Coll, Univ Of Rajasthan, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Graduation Year: 1989

Data Provided by:
Peter B Himmel, MD
(401) 783-6777
321 Main St
Wakefield, RI
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Suny-Hlth Sci Ctr At Brooklyn, Coll Of Med, Brooklyn Ny 11203
Graduation Year: 1972

Data Provided by:
Michael Lee Gross, MD
(860) 442-8817
53C Granite St
New London, CT
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tel Aviv Univ, Sackler Fac Of Med, Tel Aviv, Israel
Graduation Year: 1995

Data Provided by:
Wendy Silversmith
(401) 348-2180
45 Wells St
Westerly, RI
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
Christopher Darcy
(401) 348-2180
45 Wells Street
Westerly, RI
Specialty
Rheumatology

Data Provided by:
John Roger Hollister, MD
(860) 446-0540
76 Starr Hill Rd
Groton, CT
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Case Western Reserve Univ Sch Of Med, Cleveland Oh 44106
Graduation Year: 1966

Data Provided by:
Dr.Christopher DArcy
(401) 348-2180
70 Kenyon Ave # 326
Wakefield, RI
Gender
M
Speciality
Rheumatologist
General Information
Hospital: Westerly And South County
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
5.0, out of 5 based on 1, reviews.

Data Provided by:
Dr.Sandeep Varma
(860) 889-8331
111 Salem Tpke
Norwich, CT
Gender
M
Speciality
Rheumatologist
General Information
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
5.0, out of 5 based on 1, reviews.

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...