December Newsletter

Wishing You a Merry Christmas!

By Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD

Dr. Ronald Auvenshine
Dr. Ronald Auvenshine
Dr. Pettit
Dr. Nathan Pettit

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. So many memories come to mind as the holiday approaches. Christmas was always a very special time in the Auvenshine household. I was one of four children, and I can remember vividly holidays past and that one special gift that Santa was to bring. The anticipation of weeks prior to the eventful day, and failure to sleep on Christmas eve in great excitement of the coming morning were too much to bear.

My mother was quite a gardener. She was president of her garden club for a number of years. Our yard was always filled with flowers, shrubbery, and trimmed hedges. She taught me so much about gardening and caring for plants – lessons that have carried over into my adult years. We always had poinsettia plants in our yard. They would bloom about three weeks before Christmas. Our yard would light up like a Christmas tree when the poinsettias would bloom. I can remember evenings the weather report predicted a freeze. We would have to go out late at night and cut all the poinsettias and put the stems in wax so that we could give the plants to friends for the holidays. Special times were had by the entire family during those years.

As a Christian, Christmas is a very special time for me because it commemorates the birth of Jesus. That one event changed history for all time. Whatever your faith or religion, Christmas is a warm and special time for all of us.

As we look forward into the new year, there are many exciting things in place. I am thrilled that my associate, Dr. Pettit, is progressing in his position here at MedCenter TMJ. It is a real honor and privilege to have such a quality man as my partner. Those of you who have experienced his care and gentle touch will agree that he is the right addition to this practice.

Dr. Pettit and I are currently working on several projects, as well as the development of new technology which we will add to our practice in 2015. More about the new technology and services will be included in the January newsletter. Be on the lookout for that exciting news. If you do not have an appointment in January to receive a hard copy of the newsletter, you can find it on our website,

2014 has been a very successful year for me and for the practice. I have seen a lot of changes occur here with the addition of my partner and the inclusion of new technology. All of this is for one express purpose: providing you the best care that anyone can receive for TMD and orofacial pain anywhere in the country. Dr. Pettit and I have attended several continuing education courses this year as we continue to sharpen our diagnostic and management skills. This has been a passion for me for over 40 years, and I am pleased to report that Dr. Pettit feels the same way. It is my hope that as Dr. Pettit grows in the practice and receives confidence from you, this practice will continue into the next generation.

It is with a warm heart and many thanks that I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD

The 2013 MedCenter TMJ annual Christmas party.
The 2013 MedCenter TMJ annual Christmas party.
Dr. Pettit and his family.
Dr. Pettit and his family.

Happy Holidays! We have so much to look forward to as the end of the year approaches. This is a time to celebrate family, freedom, and faith. Our plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas include visiting family in Missouri and Utah. I saw my youngest brother and his family on Thanksgiving, and will see my grandmother, older brother and his family, and my wife’s family over the Christmas Holiday. I will also be celebrating 10 years of marriage to my wonderful wife, Aubrey. Each day is a blessing from above. I am reminded this season – every good thing in life is possible because of Him whose birth we celebrate.

My most memorable childhood Christmas taught me a lesson I hope never to forget. I grew up in northeast Oregon, in a relatively small city surrounded by mountains. Winter brought snow every year. This particular Christmas morning, a large amount of snow had fallen, covering roads, sidewalks, and driveways. Our family tradition was to gather in the morning to open Christmas presents as a family. I was looking forward to this, as most children do, with great anticipation. Before settling together for our gift exchange, father asked if my brothers and I would go with him to shovel the driveways and sidewalks at the homes of some widows we knew from church. At first, I have to admit, I was disappointed. I didn’t want to wait any longer. I didn’t want to go outside in the cold. I didn’t want to work and sweat on Christmas morning. Could we wait and do it later?

We bundled up and loaded the car with snow shovels. I joined my dad and three brothers as we went out to clear the driveways and sidewalks. It was hard work at first, but it got lighter. It was enjoyable to serve side by side with my brothers, and to see the surprised and grateful smiles of the women who hadn’t expected us. Each heart was warmed that morning. The thought occurred as we shoveled: What greater gift could we offer our Lord on His birthday, than to serve another in need? He has taught us, “in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt 25:40)

I send my best wishes to you and yours this holiday season! May you be safe and renewed. May the Spirit of Christ warm your heart during this very special time. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Nathan J. Pettit, DMD, MSD

Dr. Pettit’s Tips for Healthy Living

lifeDecember is here! The year has passed so quickly. Our best wishes and hopes go to you and your families this holiday season. Christmas is a wonderful time of year to reflect on life and the relationships that matter most in our lives. Since it is a religious time for many, I hope to share a few thoughts on the importance of physical health as it relates to spiritual health.

Life is a gift. From holy books we learn that each of us was created in the image of God. each of us has a body, which was bought with a price, and is a temple of God, in which the Spirit of God dwelleth (See 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19-20). How we treat our physical frame will affect our spiritual ability. Both elements are intimately connected and dependent on one another. Doing your part to take care of your health will free your spirit and magnify the light within you.

Here are a few suggestions to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
• Participate in regular physical activity. This can be as simple as taking a walk daily, choosing to use the stairs, or participating in water aerobics. Activity strengthens the tissues of your body and primes your mental and spiritual well-being.
• Use moderation in your diet. Eat a variety of fresh foods and avoid overly processed products with little nutritional value. Do not be extreme in your dieting.
• Find a balanced approach and allow yourself some time as you transition to healthier food choices.
• Limit the use of stimulants or other potentially addictive substances. You will likely pay the price later for a seeming convenience now.
• Get high quality rest. Prepare yourself for sleep. As much as possible, regulate your hours to give yourself the time needed for rejuvenation and healing that can only come during your sleep.

Living with a temporomandibular disorder can be aggravating. We may even think it is keeping us from maintaining the healthy lifestyle we want. MedCenter TMJ is here to provide you the support and tools you need to manage your jaw pain, so you can begin with the rest of your life. Each new day is a new beginning.

Nathan J. Pettit, DMD, MSD

Your TMJ Holiday Survival Guide

Christmas is a time of joy, family and giving, but stress, exhaustion and worry can also creep in during the holidays. For people with TMJ disorders, minimizing the latter is about more than having a jolly time. It’s about keeping pain and discomfort in check when the circumstances are working against you. Our gift to you this holiday season is our essential TMJ survivor’s guide!

Tips for Stress Relief
• Get rest. Even though you’re busy with all the holiday preparation, Harvard doctors say that being sleep deprived can cause stress. Aim to get at least 6 hours of sleep each night, but preferably 7-8 hours.
• Schedule in time for relaxation, like a massage or yoga class.
• Cut back on the holiday parties. It’s understandable to want to accept all the invites, but it’s important to give yourself breaks.

Tips for Eating
• Volunteer to bring food to holiday gatherings. That way you’ll know there’s at least one TMJ-friendly food option.
• Avoid taking big bites. If a food requires that you open your mouth wide to take a bite, cut it into smaller pieces instead.
• Avoid candy canes and other holiday treats that are hard, crunchy or chewy.

Tips for Traveling
• If possible, bring your own pillow with you.
• Don’t forget to pack your night guard.
• If you’re flying or traveling to an area that’s at a higher altitude, use earplugs and decongestants to avoid earaches and pressure.

Tips for Cold Weather
• Bundle up when know you’ll be outside, even if it’s for a short period of time, since the cold can cause muscle spasms.
• Protect yourself from the cold and flu. Sinus pressure from congestion can make TMJ pain worse.
• If your muscles are tense use heat therapy to relax them.

A TMJ-Friendly Christmas Recipe

cheese-strawsCheese straws are soft, savory and delicious any time of the year, but the holiday season is when many people take the time to whip up a batch. Cheddar is the most common cheese used, however you can tweak the recipe to your liking by using another cheesy option. For an extra holiday twist use Christmas cookie cutters to turn regular cheese straws into fun, festive shapes.

Holiday Cheese Straws

• 1 lb grated/shredded cheddar cheese
• 8 ounces softened butter
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
• Few dashes dry parsley flakes
• 2 large eggs beaten, room temperature
• 2 tsp mustard
• 1 tsp hot pepper sauce

1. Grate cheese, set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cayenne pepper and dry parsley flakes. Add butter and rub into flour with a fork until small pea size crumbs form.
3. Add grated cheese to flour mixture, combine thoroughly.
4. Add mustard and hot pepper sauce to beaten egg, add to cheese/flour mixture. Mix/knead to form a soft and pliable dough ball.
5. Divide dough ball in two, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10-20 minutes.
6. Roll dough ball out to 1/4 inch thickness, cut into strips or use desired cookie cutters.
7. Bake on parchment paper at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
8. Serve hot, or after cooling, wrap in wax paper to preserve freshness.

Recipe Source: The Inner Gourmet


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