January 2016 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD

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

It’s 2016!! It is my hope and prayer that this will be a prosperous year for you. We look forward to continuing our relationship with you as well as beginning treatment with new referrals to MedCenter TMJ. It is an honor and pleasure to be able to serve you by helping alleviate pain and dysfunction. It is also our prayer that there will be healing in our nation. It seems that over the past several years we have grown apart as a nation, rather than being “united” as our name indicates. I am encouraged by the fact that I see more and more people becoming aware of the necessity for mending relationships and restoring friendships. This is a very important year for all of us as we will elect a new President. I encourage you to become actively attentive to the candidates. We must make informed decisions as we move this country toward a new era and new place in the world.

January will be a busy month for me and Dr. Pettit. We begin by having our first staff meeting on the 8th of January. This is an important meeting because I will introduce our new schedule for the coming year. Beginning in January, I will condense my work week to three days. I will be in the office on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, working full days. I will then take off Thursdays and Fridays. Dr. Pettit will cover those days in the office. I will use some of that time for pleasure but also Dr. Pettit and I have several projects that we are actively trying to complete. Because of lack of administrative time, I have not been able to accomplish these projects. Now that I will have more time off, I plan to be spending at least every other Thursday in the library. I have four or five articles which I would like to write and publish this year. This is my new goal for 2016.

On Friday, January 15th I will travel to New Orleans to meet with Dr. Henry Gremillion. Dr. Gremillion is a former student of mine who is now Dean of the Dental School at LSU. He is also a graduate of the Parker Mahan Orofacial Pain Program at the University of Florida, School of Dentistry. Dr. Gremillion and I have been friends from the first day that he entered dental school in 1973. He is very interested in starting an Orofacial Pain residency program at LSU’s Dental School and he has invited me to help initiate the program. My trip on January 15th will be to discuss my role in that process. I do not plan to move to New Orleans, but I would like to be actively involved in helping him get this program up and running.

February will also be a busy month, Dr. Pettit and I will travel to Chicago for the American Equilibration Society meeting. I am Program Chairman for the AES in 2017, so 2016 will be composed of many committee meetings as we complete our speaker confirmations for that program. My Co-Chair of this committee is Dr. Andy Miles from Trinidad. It has been fun to work with Andy on the program committee. The AES is an organization which has been around for over 75 years. I have been a member of this organization since 1980. It is one of my favorite societies to which I belong.

As you can see, Dr. Pettit and I continue to be actively involved in learning, studying, and writing in the field of Orofacial pain and TMD. It is my goal to train as many people as I can while I am still able to do so in order to carry on my work to the next generation. I will be giving a special dissection course on head and neck anatomy on March 11th and 12th here in Houston. So even though I may not be in the office as much as I have been in the past, I will still be actively involved. I plan to be around for as long as my health holds up and I am able to provide the quality of service that you, our patient, deserves. You are our greatest asset and we will continue to strive to provide you the best care in the nation as we seek to alleviate your pain and dysfunction.

Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD
Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain

Dr. Pettit’s Tip for Healthy Living

Nathan J. Pettit, DMD, MSD

2016 homemade cookies.Happy New Year! I hope the New Year brings with it new hope, new peace, and new opportunities for your health. Health is of primary importance. For this month’s newsletter, I want to recap on highlights of last year’s tips for healthy living.

In January, I discussed the benefits of limiting gluten in your diet. Some of us are more sensitive to this protein than others. Decreasing your intake of gluten may be the last thread you need to complete your safety net, protecting you from chronic pain. Whether the issue is with gluten or not, cutting back on foods high in gluten will reduce your consumption of other high caloric foods, such as breads, beer, and other refined carbohydrates. Replacing starches with foods like lentils and quinoa will also provide health benefits.

In February, we suggested steaming your vegetables, which allows you to maximize nutrition, while also taking care of your temporomandibular joint by softening otherwise crunchy foods. March’s tip discussed the benefits of green leafy vegetables, and the advantages of shredding your lettuce for your jaw. Then in April, we reviewed our “foods to avoid” list and discussed the reasoning behind the list.

May was home to National Brown-Bag-It Day, in which we highlighted the benefits of packing your own lunch. In June, we tapped into the benefits of hydration and water consumption. July was dedicated to the benefits of eating fish and the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that come with them. August’s tip included the doctor’s order to give yourself permission for a relaxing getaway. Dedicated time, when properly executed, will provide a much-needed recharge. Stress hormones need a chance to re-equilibrate.

September marked a good time to think about meal planning. A little forethought can go a long way when it comes to improving our eating habits. Planning ahead will allow you to eat a wider variety of foods, encourage better nutrition and healthy food choices. The anti-oxidant benefit of berries was discussed in October’s newsletter, with special emphasis on the value of blueberries. Pumpkins were highlighted in November, and then finally, in December we discussed the health benefits of an attitude of gratitude.

At MedCenter TMJ, we are committed to optimizing the health and function of your jaw joint. We know the temporomandibular joint is critical to your overall health and well-being. Good health not only blesses your life, but the lives of those around you. Let us each make a New Year’s resolution to make healthy choices.

Nathan J. Pettit, DMD, MSD

Rethink Your Breakfast Routine During National Oatmeal Month

cereal with caramelized appleIf you skip breakfast on a regular basis, you could be making your TMD worse and adding pounds. Doctors have discovered that breakfast really is the most important meal because it helps to regulate our blood sugar throughout the day. Breakfast gives us a much needed energy boost that gets us through the morning and helps stave off afternoon drowsiness. The Cognitive Effects of Breakfast study also found that when adults eat breakfast anxiety was reduced by 89%.

But eating just anything won’t give you all the breakfast benefits. National Oatmeal Month is the perfect time to start incorporating this breakfast staple into your weekly menu. Oatmeal is a ground oat grain that is low in fat, full of soluble fiber and known to reduce blood pressure. Fresh fruit can be added for extra flavor and antioxidants.

Even if you travel regularly like Dr. Auvenshine, oatmeal is an easy breakfast option you can take with you on the go. This January help your TMJs by getting up a few minutes earlier each morning to enjoy a hot bowl of healthy oatmeal.

The Benefits of Hot Tea for TMJ

The Benefits of Hot Tea for TMJThe cold weather may be making your TMD worse, but hot tea could help alleviate soreness plus a whole lot more. Tea is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world after water. There are actually only four types of teas (oolong, green, white and black), but there are countless ways to blend them. No matter which tea you prefer, doctors agree that you should drink up for your health and wellbeing.

The benefits of freshly brewed hot tea include:

  • Catechins – This polyphenol helps you burn fat and provides muscle endurance.
  • EGCG – Green tea contains a wide variety of antioxidants and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to protect against a host of illnesses, including certain cancers. EGCG can also reduce inflammatory chemicals, which could help alleviate arthritis and joint pain.
  • Hydration – Sipping tea is a great way to stay hydrated.
  • Bone support – Scientists have discovered that green tea helps strengthen and improve bone mineral density.
  • Flavonoids – This compound found in tea has been shown to protect the heart and keep other illnesses at bay.
  • Immune System Boost – Herbal teas, like Echinacea, have been known to help you fight off a cold.

Just make sure to wait a few minutes before you start sipping as drinking hot beverages on a regular basis can harm the esophagus.


Start the New Year Off With This Healthy Black-Eyed Pea Recipe

Black-eyed peasBlack-eyed peas are a traditional New Year’s food in the South that’s believed to bring good luck to anyone that eats them on January 1st. But TMD patients can benefit from chowing down on these soft, protein-rich legumes anytime of the year. This healthy black-eyed pea recipe from the New York Times will help you get the New Year off to a great start!

• 2 pounds black-eyed peas (soaked overnight)
• 2 pounds smoked ham hock or bacon
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 large onion
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 pounds collard greens cut into 1-inch ribbons
• 1 bunch scallions (for garnish)
• 4 minced garlic cloves
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• ½ teaspoon allspice
• ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

1. Soak the black-eyed peas over night.
2. Drain the black-eyed peas and put them into a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven.
3. Add the ham hock (or bacon) and 10 cups of water.
4. Heat on high temperature then add the onion, bay leaf, allspice, salt and pepper.
5. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, skimming off any foam that forms on the surface.
6. Stir occasionally and add water to keep the level an inch above the black-eyed peas.
7. Simmer until the black-eyed peas are tender (1.5-2 hours)
8. Remove from the heat and spoon out the meat.
9. Add vegetable oil to a large skillet.
10. Heat over medium-high temperature until the oil is wavy.
11. Add the red pepper and garlic.
12. Add the collard greens and stir to coat the greens with oil.
13. Add salt to taste and one cup of water.
14. Add pieces of ham then reduce the temperature to medium.
15. Cover the skillet leaving a small gap in the lid for ventilation.
16. Cook for approximately 20 minutes.

Within a couple of hours you’ll have a healthy meal that will provide 10-12 servings of good luck. Happy New Year!

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