Skip to content

Myths and Facts About Pain

Myth: Pain Killers Lead to Addiction Fact: When taken as directed, prescription pain medications rarely cause addiction. However, as with many drugs, your body can become physically dependent on pain medication. Although this doesn’t mean you’re addicted, you may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop the… Read More »Myths and Facts About Pain

Ice vs. Heat for Jaw Pain: The Showdown

icy!Heat and cold therapy has been used for decades to treat pain and swelling, and are two of the simplest treatments available. They are considered a generally safe, effective, inexpensive and under utilized tool. Heat and ice have opposite effects when you have pain and inflammation. Heat increases blood circulation and helps to relax tight muscles, while ice constricts blood vessels and decreases blood circulation to the area (and as a result reduces inflammation and numbs pain).

Ice – The Details

  • Decreases inflammation
  • Decreases pain
  • Reduces swelling

How does ice work?

There are several theories about how ice decreases pain. Some of them are:
1. Decreased nerve transmission in pain fibers
2. Cold raises the pain threshold
3. Cold sensations over-ride the pain sensations
4. Cold causes a release of endorphins
5. Cold reduces the activity of free nerve endings

Ice causes a narrowing of blood vessels and cools the surface of the skin and underlying tissue. This can also attribute to decrease in pain as the pressure from swelling decreases.

The Four Stages of IceRead More »Ice vs. Heat for Jaw Pain: The Showdown

How to…Prepare for Your First TMJ Dentist or Doctor Appointment

TMJ dentist appointment
Before the Appointment

  • If this is a specialist, make sure you have obtained the proper referrals from your primary care doctor
  • Call the specialist as soon as you have the referral in your hand to see what their process is for new patients. Some specialists need a lot of paperwork, records, and will not see you (even if you have a PPO) without a letter and formal referral from the referring physician.
  • If appointments are being scheduled months out for new patients, ask to be put on the cancellation list.
  • Do you have a detailed health profile? If not, this would be a great time to make one, be sure to include basic information, risk factors, current issues, past surgeries, any medication you are on, (include herbs and vitamins), family history allergies etc.
  • Get copies of your health records and any imaging.
  • If you have had an MRI, CT Scan, or xrays done, get copies sent over to the new doctor. This will give him time to read them in advance.

Read More »How to…Prepare for Your First TMJ Dentist or Doctor Appointment