September Newsletter

September is upon us!

Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD

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

It seems as though the year continues to pass by very quickly. We here at MedCenter TMJ hope you had a wonderful summer and had time to kick back, rest and travel. September has always been a pivotal month for me. During my many years of schooling, September always marked the beginning of the academic year. Therefore, September continues to be a month of new beginnings. I enjoyed school and enjoyed the challenge of a new year. September is also a month when we gear up to begin new activities.

We have several things going on here at MedCenter TMJ this month, but several events occurred in August that were important moments in my life. I attended the annual meeting of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, held this year in Orlando, Florida. I was not speaking at the meeting this time, and I was looking forward to being a participant in the audience. However, unknown to me, I was announced as the recipient of the Academy’s Humanitarian Award. I have now received the two highest awards given to an Academy member. It is an honor to have been named the Humanitarian Award recipient for 2016. The award is based on what an individual has done outside the practice of TMD and orofacial pain. I was chosen because of my involvement within the Texas prison system, where I have conducted a weekly Bible study for 25 years.  It is something that is strictly voluntary and there was only one person in the Academy to whom I mentioned this to at dinner years ago. From that conversation, my name was submitted to the Board of Directors and they chose me as the recipient of this distinguished award. It was an over-the-top experience for me emotionally. Being recognized by your peers is one of the highest honors bestowed upon an individual.

September begins with the celebration of Labor Day. Our office will be closed for a four-day weekend as we celebrate all those who labor in the United States to make it the greatest nation in the world. In the second weekend of September, I will be lecturing at the Institute of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain in Dallas, Texas. My lectures will include the differential diagnosis of craniofacial pain, and the signs and symptoms associated with the proper examination and detection of a chronic pain sufferer. This Institute is a year-long series of lectures. Each of the four sessions is packed with three full days of learning. A total of 120 hours of lecture time is spent in the Institute and upon completion the graduates are prepared to take their boards in craniofacial pain. I have been on the faculty for six years and really enjoy participating. It’s one of the few places where a practicing dentist can go through a “residency program” without having to sell their practice and enter a full-time program.

Craniofacial pain and TMD are still not recognized by the American Dental Association as a “bonafide” specialty. We have been trying for the last 20 years to petition the ADA for specialty status. Each time we have attempted, the Board of Trustees and the House of Delegates have denied our entrance into specialty categories. Last year, through a lawsuit before the State of Texas, we attempted to be able to advertise as a specialist if we had passed the American Board of Orofacial Pain. I was one of the founding members of the American Board of Orofacial Pain, created in 1994. There are still state limitations placed on those of us who have this specialty status. The lawsuit before the state would permit us to advertise to the general public that we have additional training above and beyond that of a general practitioner. We will see how this plays out as time goes on. I’m very hopeful that at some point in the future we will be a recognized specialty as we should be.

We have had a new birth on our staff at MedCenter TMJ. Many of you know Nadia as one of our fine dental assistants. She had a baby boy, named Liam, on August 5. We are excited for Nadia and her husband. She is currently on maternity leave and will return on September 21. During that period of time, the other staff members have jumped in and filled the void created by Nadia’s absence. I commend them for their hard work in making sure Dr. Pettit and I stay on time and deliver the quality service you deserve.

Our staff will have a training session with the iCat Cone Beam Scanning field director on September 18. At MedCenter TMJ, we continue to participate in Continuing Education and consistently learn new techniques so the services that are rendered to you will be of the highest quality and the latest methods. We spend one Friday a month in Team Building meetings where we work on the techniques, as well as understanding the delivery system we use here in the office so we can polish our skills and be better prepared to help and serve you. You are our greatest asset and we will continue to strive to do everything in our power to make your experience here at MedCenter TMJ the very best.

Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD

Dr. Pettit’s Tips for Healthy Living

Nathan J. Pettit, DMD, MSD

Man cooking

In our monthly newsletter, we like to include a practical tip for healthy living. When it comes to healthy eating, one of the easiest and best ways to give yourself a head start is to plan ahead! Let’s talk about meal planning. There are no rules and you don’t have to follow an exact prescription. Start simple. With time you will find a routine that works best for you and your family. With a little planning and forethought, you can greatly improve your diet.

Think about your schedule this next week and get a rough idea of how many meals will get you through the week. Keep in mind there is nothing wrong with planning a quick-prep dinner or leftovers for a meal! Consider how much time you have for preparation and what your budget looks like. Then grab a note pad and list the days of the week. Sketch out how you want the week to look.

Now choose what you want to eat!

Decide what types of food you feel like eating. Remember to consider your jaw when making these food choices! We suggest having a few familiar recipes along with trying something new. Make healthy choices and create a list of groceries you’ll need. Then decide on a time to shop. If you hit a few bumps in the beginning, don’t give up! The routine will become seamless with time and practice. You can even begin to save and organize your recipes for later use.

Meal planning will allow you to eat a wider variety of foods, encourage better nutrition and healthy food choices. I benefited from frequent family dinners made possible by the thoughtful planning of my parents. Few activities will bring a family closer together than time together with a nice meal. A little thought can go a long way when it comes to our eating habits.

Nathan J. Pettit, DMD, MSD

Why You Need to Take the Day Off This Labor Day

For many of us, work can be a source of stress, but are you putting too much pressure on yourself? If you keep up with the MedCenter TMJ blog, then you probably already know how detrimental stress is to your TMJ health.

Labor Day was created to honor the hard work we put in every day. Unfortunately, many Americans are taking their work ethic to the extreme and actually hurting their productivity in the process. Earlier this year CBS reported on a survey of 1,500 workers conducted by the travel website Skift. Their researchers found that 42 percent of responders didn’t take a single vacation day in 2014! Another study from Glassdoor showed even workers with paid vacation days only used about half of them.

Even when people are out of the office, many continue to contact colleagues and clients, check their emails and do work from home. Given that 63 percent of senior business leaders continuously check in while they’re away, the same expectation is set for other workers.

There are many reasons why people feel they can’t take time off from work, but ultimately the result is always the same – you end up feeling overwhelmed, burned out and stressed. Experts agree that when you reach this point, your productivity suffers.

This Labor Day, take a much-needed, well-deserved break! We all have mental and physical limitations. Many studies have shown that taking time off is one of the most effective ways to boost productivity, job satisfaction and mood. So enjoy the end of summer with your friends and family, and give your email the day off on Labor Day.

Why You Need to Take the Day Off This Labor Day

5 Quick Tips for Self Improvement Month

5 Quick Tips for Self Improvement Month-20150901205726September is Self Improvement Month. It’s a great time to evaluate your home, work, spiritual and personal life to figure out what improvements would help you accomplish more and stress less. Below are our top five tips for making the most of the month.

  • Find a self-improvement buddy who can keep you motivated and accountable throughout the month.
  • Focus on one main improvement goal for the month, and shape your daily activities around meeting that goal.
  • Take things week-by-week. Identify one thing to work on each week so you don’t get overwhelmed.
  • Celebrate Positive Thinking Day on Sept. 13 by acknowledging the self-improvement progress you’ve made so far.
  • Take 10 minutes each morning to meditate and reflect on what you want to accomplish that day.


Celebrate Chocolate Milkshake Day

Did you know chocolate milk is a healthy drink for runners who need to rehydrate after a cardio session? On Sept. 12, you don’t need to run to have an excuse for indulging in a little cocoa goodness, because it’s Chocolate Milkshake Day! We’ve found the perfect chocolate milkshake recipe for the occasion that’s healthy, only takes a few minutes to make and is easy on the TMJ.

Celebrate Chocolate Milkshake DayIngredients:

  1. 2 chopped, frozen bananas
  2. 1/3 cup frozen blueberries and/or strawberries
  3. 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  4. 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  5. 2 cups of almond milk
  6. 1/3 cup of ice
  7. Dash of agave nectar or Stevia


  1. Put all of the ingredients into the blender.
  2. Blend on medium to high setting until smooth.
  3. If you prefer a thinner milkshake, add more almond milk.

Once you’re done you’ll have 2 servings of a delicious, nutritious chocolate milkshake!

Scroll to Top