April Newsletter

Spring is in Full Swing!

By Dr. Ronald Auvenshine

Dr. Ronald Auvenshine
Dr. Ronald Auvenshine

April is set to be another busy month for us here at MedCenter TMJ. To recap the month of March, I had a very enjoyable and successful ski trip vacation with my family. My son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters joined Linda and me at Terry Peak, South Dakota, for two days of sheer skiing enjoyment. The ski area is relatively small compared to Colorado standards, but it offered all of the variety that I can enjoy at my age.

We skied Friday with our two granddaughters. On Saturday, just my son and I skied. We had not spent that much quality time doing an activity together in 15 years. It was such a thrill just to be able to spend the day enjoying something that we both love to do. There was plenty of quality family time around meals, just enjoying the companionship of one another.

On Sunday, my son and his family drove back to Sioux Falls while Linda and I toured the Black Hills. We drove through Lead and Deadwood, South Dakota, and then took Highway 385 over to Mount Rushmore. The drive was absolutely beautiful. The Black Hills is an area that I have never traveled. We spent several hours at Mount Rushmore. It was breathtaking, and extremely patriotic. I cherish our national monuments in this country. It is my hope that I will have time in my life to enjoy more of these wonderful moments, as we did on our trip to western South Dakota.

From left: Dr. Ronald Auvenshine, his granddaughters and his son.
From left: Dr. Ronald Auvenshine, his granddaughters and
his son.

March also included the annual meeting of the Dr. Parker Mahan Study Group in New Orleans. It was a two-day meeting, and I spoke on the second day. My presentation was titled the “Anatomy of the Airway.” I had an opportunity to share with the group the research which Dr. Pettit and I are doing here in my office. It was a wonderful weekend sharing ideas and information with friends and colleagues. I stayed in the home of my very close friend, Dr. Henry Gremillion, who is the Dean of the LSU School of Dentistry. Dr. Gremillion was one of my first students at LSU when I was working on my PhD. Our friendship has spanned 30 years, and I can truly say that he is as close as a brother.

There are several exciting events coming up in April as well. I will give my third and final lecture in a three-lecture series to the periodontic graduate students at the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. The series of lectures is titled, “Physiology of Occlusion and Biomechanics of Jaw Function.” I enjoy giving these lectures each year, and I am thankful for the opportunity to share the knowledge I have gained through my career with young dentists as they began their practices.

Also, on April 17 Dr. Pettit, my third year resident at the VA hospital, will defend his Master’s research. His research deals with the Hyoid bone, and the effect of Hyoid position and movement resulting from the treatment of myofascial pain. This is the first research of its kind. It is the first research project that I know of which analyzes the activity of non-masticatory muscles after intraoral orthotic treatment. In other words, after a person wears an appliance for six months, not only do positive things happen to the jaw muscles but also to the muscles of the throat. We are now able to accurately measure changes in Hyoid position threedimensionally with Cone Beam 3-D CT scans.

The month of April will conclude with a trip to Las Vegas to attend the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain. Dr. Gremillion and I will be giving a pre-meeting, all-day course on the dissection of the head and neck. We present this course every other year at the annual session. We will have approximately 25 members of the Academy attending this special pre-meeting course. The meeting this year is filled with interesting topics dealing with orofacial pain, not only the mechanism but also treatment and management of this very complex disorder.

As you can see, we continue to be busy here at MedCenter TMJ. The reason for this busyness is that we are constantly seeking new information and better ways of providing you with the most up-to-date, current and valid means of treatment. You are our greatest asset, and we will continue to strive to meet your expectations and to achieve the greatest success possible in your management. We as a staff continue to improve our treatment skills. My assistants take additional courses along with my personal training to ensure that your experience here at MedCenter TMJ is the very best. We are open to your comments, and ask you to tell us when we are doing a good job. We invite you also to visit us on Facebook, Twitter and our website, MedCenterTMJ.com

Ronald C. Auvenshine DDS, PhD

Ergonomics and TMJ

TMJ disorders are not just about genetics (you were born that way). Nor are they solely a conditioned worsened by anxiety (I’m under a lot of stress, so my TMJ pain is getting worse!). Our posture, bodily movements and interaction with objects around us play an active role in TMJ disorders and their resultant symptoms. The clinical term for this process is ergonomics.

The danger with ergonomics and its relation to TMJ pain is its subtlety. We often don’t pay attention to our posture, or how we stand, sit and move around. But there is a clear connection between TMD and ergonomics.

That’s why MedCenter TMJ is devoting three weeks to a discussion on the importance of ergonomics. Look for our blog posts starting on April 22. We will begin with basic facts about ergonomics. One of the greatest dangers is engaging in repetitive activities. These place strain on nerves, joints and tissue.

Of course, every part of the body plays an important role in our overall health. But for TMD sufferers in particular, two areas deserve special attention: the neck and forward head posture. These parts of the body immediately impact the head, neck and upper spine. Their care can be essential in reducing the symptoms of TMD.

In part II of our ergonomics series, we’ll look at the everyday activity of driving your car and optimal ergonomic positions. Week III will focus on TMJ disorders and ergonomic improvement both at work and home.

Easter Dental Tips

Our MedCenter TMJ team wishes you and your family a blessed Easter! For Christians, this is one of the most important holidays of the year: a celebration of the resurrection of Christ after His crucifixion. But for many families, Easter is also about baskets filled with candy and sugary sweets.

However you celebrate, we have plenty of creative ideas to keep things festive while avoiding the sugar rush. Try substituting small toys for candy. You can also give kids gift cards for iTunes, movie tickets or concert tickets.

Of course, Easter isn’t just for the kids. Give someone special a lovely spring bouquet instead of a basket of candy.

We also have recommendations for the Easter Bunny about what candy is okay and what should be avoided. Check out our April 15th blog post for the complete rundown on a TMJ-friendly Easter.


Easter Deviled Eggs:

April 20th is Easter Sunday, and we’ve got the perfect holiday recipe for the occasion. Celebrate with festively colored deviled eggs. Not only are Easter Deviled Eggs loaded with protein, they’re also smooth, creamy and enjoyable to snack on. And best of all, it’s a great way to use up all those boiled eggs your kids dyed and decorated!


• 12 large eggs
• ¼ cup creamy salad dressing (such as Miracle Whip)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Hot sauce
• ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
• 4 drops red, blue and green food coloring, or desired amount
• 3 cups of water, as desired


1. Place eggs into a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Let eggs boil for 3 minutes; turn off heat, cover pot and let eggs cook in hot water for at least 20 minutes. Drain and cover eggs with cold water. Peel cooled eggs.
2. Cut hard-cooked eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks; mash yolks in a bowl with creamy salad dressing, salt, black pepper, hot sauce and dry mustard until smooth.
3. Place red, blue and green food coloring into 3 different bowls and add about 1 cup water to each bowl. Steep 8 egg white halves in each bowl, tinting the egg whites pink, light blue and green. If the color is too pale, add more coloring to the bowls. Drain colored egg whites on paper towels.
4. Pipe or spoon egg yolk filling into colored egg white halves; cover and chill before serving, at least 30 minutes.

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