February Newsletter

A Hole-In-One in 2014!

By Dr. Ronald Auvenshine


I just have to begin February’s newsletter by telling you about a very exciting event in January. On Saturday, January 11, 2014, I made my first “hole-in-one.” For those of you who are golfers, making a hole-in-one is a golfer’s dream. I have been playing golf since I was 10 years old and this is the first hole-in-one of my career. It occurred on the par-3, fourth hole at Sugar Creek Country Club. The pin placement was 165 yards from the tee box. I chose a Cobra 19° Rescue Club because I had a headwind. It was probably one of the cleanest shots I’ve ever made. The ball tracked perfectly toward the hole. It bounced once and rolled into the cup. I have dreamed of this moment, but never truly thought it would ever happen. It was truly exhilarating. My playing partners were extremely gracious and encouraging. All of them have experienced a hole-in-one in their careers but I was the only one of the foursome that had never had one. Now that I have joined the “Hole-in- One Club,” one aspect of my golfing career is complete.

I immediately went back to my golf cart and called my wife and told her what had just happened. I think that she was even more excited than I was, because after having lived with me for 46 years and having golf as a major part of our life, she knew what this accomplishment meant to me.

February is another busy month for me and MedCenter TMJ. I am in the middle of a series of lectures I present to the graduate students at University of Texas School of Dentistry, Houston. I give three seminars a year and I will complete Seminar III on the 13th of February. The seminars involve growth and development of the jaws and the relationship of the teeth to biomechanics of jaw function. I talk about the importance of harmonizing the bite with the removal of stressors from the oral area to prevent wear and tear to the teeth, gums and supporting periodontal ligament which holds the tooth in the socket. I stress the importance of doing bite adjustments and using intraoral appliances to relax the muscles to stabilize jaw joint function. I also cover differential diagnoses as well as symptoms of temporomandibular disorders.

On the 19th and 20th of February, I travel to Chicago to attend the annual Scientific Meeting of the American Equilibration Society. I have been a member of the AES since 1981 serving on the Guidelines Committee. I am currently the program co-chairman for 2017 and will soon be meeting with my co-chair to begin planning our speaker and topic selection for 2017. I have been asked to speak at the 2016 meeting and the topic of that lecture will be the research that my graduate students at the VA and I have been doing on the Hyoid bone. We will continue to update this lecture with ongoing research. I am very excited about the upcoming events.

Currently Dr. Nathan Pettit, my thirdyear resident, is completing his Master’s degree on the Hyoid bone research. He will be writing his thesis and planning his defense, which will occur sometime in May. I am the director of his research and I am excited about what the results will show.

It is my goal in 2014 to write three scientific papers on the work that we have already done on the Hyoid bone. As these papers come to completion, I will be adding references to the website so that you will be able to resource these papers just to see what we are doing here at MedCenter TMJ.

My staff and I are constantly working to upgrade the flow of services that we provide to you, our patients. On January 10, 2014, the staff and I had a wonderful planning session which kicked off the New Year. The number one topic for 2014 was dealing with the subject of how to bring “joy” into the workplace. The motivation for this topic was from a book which I read over the Holidays entitled Joy, Inc. I found the book to be fascinating and its’ implications to the workplace environment were extremely impactful. It is our hope as a staff that we will continue to focus on bringing joy to you, our patient.

As you can clearly see we are very busy here at MedCenter TMJ. We continue to work diligently on your behalf. I am connected nationally and internationally with groups dealing with pain and TMD. I attend meetings regularly. I accumulate many more continuing education hours each year than is required by state law. The reason that I do this is simply to bring to you the most up-to-date and effective treatment modalities so we can facilitate your care and optimize your control of pain and discomfort. You are our greatest asset and we will strive diligently to assure your confidence.

Ronald C. Auvenshine DDS, PhD

February is for Lovers, Cupid and Hearts

In addition to Valentine’s Day, February is also Heart Awareness Month. Why? Because in the United States the leading cause of death for both men and women is heart disease.

Sponsored by the American Heart Association, patients are encouraged to learn simple steps one can take to achieve a heart-healthy lifestyle. It’s easy to do, and small changes can make a huge difference.

Visit http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/ to learn the most common symptoms of a heart attack.

Read about what you can do to prevent onset of heart disease. And in 2014, Go Red! Heart disease now affects millions of women.

In fact, in the past ten years, more women than men were afflicted with the disease. Learn what you can do to make sure you’re getting the treatment you need to change the odds.


Something New for Pain Relief

Dr. Auvenshine is now recommending that his patients try Traumeel for TMJ pain. This is a new product that contains 12 natural ingredients, including belladonna, arnica and chamomilla. This cream can be purchased over the counter at most pharmacies or grocery stores. It is safe for use over extended periods of time. Used with the application of moist heat, Traumeel may help relieve jaw and neck pain. Patients may find it a more satisfactory choice over traditional anti-inflammatory use.


Show your Love with Sweet Smoothies

February is for lovers. On the 14th of the month, we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Did you know that every year over 36 million heart-shaped boxes of candy are sold to consumers? It’s a nice gesture but it’s anybody’s guess what’s inside those chocolate squares. Caramel? Peanuts? Something that can aggravate your TMD symptoms?

Why risk it? This year give your special someone a healthy, sweet gift they can actually enjoy. The most romantic of all fruits is the strawberry. Needless to say, its color is red, and when cut vertically it makes a natural heart-shape. Try this Valentine smoothie recipe!


Valentine Smoothie
PREP TIME 5 minutes
Makes 2 servings

Valentine Day Smoothie Ingredients:

1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1/2 cup chopped banana
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon honey
2 fresh strawberries

Put everything into the blender and puree until smooth. Core the fresh strawberries, slice them vertically, and fan them out on top of each smoothie.

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