January 2017 Newsletter

A Happy New Year!

Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD

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

2017 is a new beginning and I am really looking forward to events that are to come. I am excited about so many things that we will experience in the coming year. We will inaugurate a new president with a change in philosophies of administration, which I hope will be to the best interest of the country. I am so glad that I live in a free society where we each have the right to our personal belief systems, I have proudly served in the military to help protect those freedoms which we all enjoy.

The month of January will be an active month for me as I begin to lay out plans for one of my residents at the VA hospital to begin her Master’s research here in my office. This will be another study which will join the previous two studies done by Dr. Pettit regarding the Hyoid bone. I have written in previous newsletters regarding our work with the Hyoid bone and I would be more than willing to discuss the results of those studies with you! Dr. Pettit and I will also be publishing several articles this year regarding that research. We will keep you posted in the coming months as to where you might be able to locate those articles.

As I indicated in the December newsletter, my work schedule for 2017 will continue to be three days a week, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I plan to work at least one Friday a month when I come in to participate in our monthly staff meeting in the morning and leading my Facial Pain Clinic at the VA in the afternoon. Many of you have expressed concerns that I will be retiring and leaving the practice. I want to reassure you that this is not the case. I will be continuing my work here at MedCenter TMJ indefinitely. I do hope that at some point in time I will be able to trim my work schedule back to just two days a week. This will enable me to have a little more freedom for travel. Linda and I have not taken a two week vacation in over 25 years. I’m hopeful that in 2017, I will have the opportunity to do the traveling that we have been putting off for many years. We enjoy traveling and there are several sites on our “bucket list” that we would like to visit.

In February, I will host the annual meeting of the American Equilibration Society (AES) in Chicago. This year, I am Program Chairman for this international meeting. There are over 22 countries represented at the AES meeting. I have been a member of this esteemed group since 1981 and it is a meeting that I enjoy attending and have had the privilege to make presentations in the past. I will teach an all-day head and neck dissection course on February 21st along with three of my very close friends, Dr. Henry Gremillion, Dr. Terry Tanaka, and Dr. Pettit.

We have many wonderful events which we will be writing about in the coming newsletters. I would invite you to go online at www.MedCenterTMJ.com to read our future monthly newsletters in case you are not in the office to pick one up personally. This is a way in which I have been communicating with my patients for over 20 years. It is fun to write the newsletter as it gives me the opportunity to tell you more of what is going on with the practice than I would have time at your appointment. I thank you for choosing Dr. Pettit and me to provide care for your TMD and facial pain. We consider it an honor that you have chosen us. Along with my wonderful staff, our goal is to make your experience with us one that is pleasant, enjoyable, and effective. You are our greatest asset and we will continue to work hard to of earn your trust.

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

Dr. Pettit’s Tips for Healthy Living

New Year, New You: How to Drink Healthy

Nathan J. Pettit, DMD, MSD

Malta BeverageAn important element of healthy living is healthy eating. We have said before, we are what we eat. With a new year upon us, it is important to remember, we are also what we drink!

I have stressed the importance of proper hydration before. This year I want to encourage you to cutback on carbonated beverages. These delicious beverages can have deleterious effects on your health, your teeth, and your jaw. Let’s take a closer look.

Soft drinks typically contain loads of sugar with little nutritive value. The average American drinks 45 gallons of soda a year! With one can of soda containing 30-40 grams of sugar, you can see how this adds up quickly. Numerous studies show the negative effects of high sugar consumption. Remember, high levels of sugar in the diet increases your body’s level of inflammation and pain, a direct effect on your jaw joint.

Numerous studies show other health problems are related to frequent soda consumption. These include diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and liver disease, to name a few. But sugar is not the only problem with soft drinks. Diet sodas also contain other chemicals and dyes which have been linked to cancer, kidney disease, metabolic disease, bone disease, and even central nervous system changes. What does frequent soda consumption do to our mouth? Besides irritating the oral mucosa, citric, phosphoric, and malic acids found in soft drinks cause an increase in dental erosion. Carbonated soft drinks have been shown to roughen dental restorations and increase fungal colonization in the oral cavity. Wound healing even slows down in those who drink carbonated beverages.

Our bodies are made of more than 60% water. Our muscles are 75% water. The liquid we drink can hydrate and nourish, or it can dehydrate and malnourish. Find ways to replace your soft drink consumption with water! Take water with you on the go. Make water accessible at work. Drink water before and after you exercise. Have water at home. This will go a long way in optimizing your health.

May you be successful in your new year’s resolutions!

Nathan J. Pettit, DMD, MSD
Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics

Lower Stress by Starting a Hobby

January is the perfect opportunity to pick up a new pastime since it’s National Hobby Month. Hobbies are usually associated with people who lead a relaxed life, and that might be because hobbies are great stress relievers. For people with TMD, picking up a hobby can also help relieve symptoms that are exasperated by stress.

When you consider that a hobby is a chosen activity that’s done for pleasure it makes a lot of sense. Hobbies are “me” time for most people. It’s an activity that allows you to take a break from your busy schedule and recharge. While you work away at your hobby you’re distracted from all the worries and concerns that consume the rest of your day.

Hobbies are so effective at reducing stress there are now therapists that help people relieve pain by taking up knitting. To reap the full stress relief benefits, choose a hobby that:

  • You truly enjoy.
  • Engages you mentally.
  • Allows you to focus on a singular thing.
  • Won’t create financial strain.
  • Can be done on your own.
  • Provides fulfillment and relaxation.
  • Can be done in small chunks of time.

Whether you like to knit or complete challenging crossword puzzles, virtually any hobby can help you de-stress when all of your daily responsibilities create tension.


Beat Back Inflammation This Winter

Wash Hands
A number of things can increase jaw pain, and one of the key culprits is inflammation. Inflammation is a reaction in tissue that occurs when harmful stimuli enter the body. White blood cell chemicals are released in the affected tissue to remove the harmful stimuli, which increases fluid and blood flow. The result is swelling, warmth, redness and pain.

Inflammation is sometimes unavoidable, but in many cases you can reduce or prevent inflammation by:

Eating Less Sugar
As Dr. Pettit noted, consuming too much sugar can lead to inflammation because it elevates insulin levels.

Drink More Water
Our joints need water to stay healthy and lubricated. Just make sure to drink filtered water to avoid consuming inflammatory chemicals.

Wash Your Hands Often
Pathogens like bacteria, viruses and germs are common causes of inflammation.

Clean Wounds Well
Anytime you get a cut or scrape, clean the wound well to prevent infections that cause inflammation.

Beef Up on Lean Protein
Protein helps the liver flush out harmful toxins from the bloodstream.

Cook Meat at Lower Temperatures
When you eat meat cook it at 300 degrees Fahrenheit or less. When you cook at higher temperatures it forms the inflammatory chemicals heterocyclic amines and polycyclic hydrocarbons.

Don’t Overdo It at the Gym
Intense workouts that strain the body have been associated with increases in inflammation.

Get Adequate Sleep
Not getting enough sleep (7-9 hours a night) causes the body to release inflammatory hormones.

Stress Less
Stress can create a number of physical affects, and inflammation is one of them.


Warm Up With This Delicious Vanilla Tea Recipe

Vanilla Pods and Flower over Wooden Background. Vanilla Pod Stic
We’re right in the middle of the coldest time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, but there’s a deliciously easy fix – hot tea! Tea is a healthy beverage that’s low in calories and full of antioxidants. When you need to warm up make yourself a cup of this vanilla tea

• 1 cup boiling water
• 1 bag orange pekoe tea
• 2 tablespoons of milk
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon of sugar or sweetener (optional)

1. Heat one cup of water until boiling.
2. Pour hot water into a mug and steep the tea bag for three minutes.
3. Remove the tea bag and discard.
4. One at a time stir in the milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and sugar or sweetener if desired.

In just five minutes you’ll have a hot beverage that’s perfect on a cold winter’s morning, afternoon or night.

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