Osteoarthritis of the jaw

About a year ago I stopped chewing gum. I haven’t chewed a piece of gum in more than a year! Me, the chronic gum chewer!

Last June I was having excruciating pain on the left side of my jaw. I was under a tremendous amount of emotion and stress.

When I had braces as a teenager I developed TMJ disorder. Not uncommon when you have braces.

Occasionally my jaw would pop, grind, feel “unhinged” and sometimes hurt. But it usually didn’t last long.

My pain last year didn’t go away. My dentist referred me to an oral surgeon.

The oral surgeon unofficially diagnosed me with osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the “wear and tear” arthritis.

Eight months later (long story why it took so long) I saw a specialist dentist.

He ordered scans, pictures, etc.

In June I was diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease, a fancy way to say osteoarthritis (of the jaw).

What I found rather interesting at my first appointment when filling out the new patient questionnaire was all the questions about my sleep, which is poor. There is a link between jaw issues and sleep issues. Wow, who knew?

My doctor and I decided to deal with my jaw issues … Continue reading

Nnnnnn for the jaw

About two months ago I talked about my TMJ disorder acting up. It first triggered when I had braces. Now it resurfaces when I am stressed.

It is still lingering. I figured when I was in Turks & Caicos for a stress-free week of relaxation it would go away. It did briefly.

On Tuesday in Vickie’s Hatha yoga class she mentioned her own TMJ disorder.

Her dentist told her if she said Nnnnnn and held her jaw in that position that that is the perfect placement for your mouth, jaw and tongue and will relieve discomfort or pain.

I, of course, had to do my own research. Both articles I link to mention Nnnnn for the jaw. Holding the jaw this way allows the teeth to come apart while relaxing the jaw muscles.

One of the first articles I came upon came from my alma mater, University of Arizona’s Campus Health, where my mom worked and retired from and where I worked as a student worker for about two years.

Diet, sleeping habits, oral habits, applying heat and ice, medication and exercises are all addressed.

Metro Dentalcare suggests tips for self-care for jaw pain.

  • Apply moist heat or … Continue reading
  • Dancing off those calories

    This has been a great long weekend.

    I took Friday off, giving myself a 4-day weekend instead of a three. Sweet!

    Friday morning I had a dentist appointment and then took the car in for maintenance.

    After that the de-cluttering of the spare room/office began. I have worked on this room every day since Friday.

    I have a lot of shredding to do and a few more things to sort through and Curt has some stuff to go through. But other than that it is nearing completion and the room is starting to look more as it should be and becoming presentable.

    On Saturday night our friends Monica and Giovanni hosted Fiesta Italiana. (I know them from spin class at the gym. Over the past year various friends have hosted parties or dinner parties.)

    The food was amazing. Oh man, it was so good! Others brought salads and the rest of us made sure we were in good supply of booze. I am always good at supplying booze. Curt and I brought Italian wine and beer.

    As with most “spin parties” they turn into a dance party.

    So between my two hours at the gym in the morning (spin; abs; … Continue reading

    Happy feet … walking

    I decided to take today off and have a four-day weekend.

    I accomplished a lot today.

    I had a dentist appointment this morning. Then the car had scheduled maintenance. And I started the daunting task of de-cluttering the spare room/office/dumping room.

    I took the car in a little after 9. The dealership offers courtesy shuttle service. It was a sunny and cool morning. I decided to walk home. The roughly 1-mile took about 20 minutes to walk and was quite pleasant. I listened to the morning DJs on my Radio.com app.

    Once home I had some coffee and breakfast. And then the de-cluttering began.

    About 12:15 or so Curt asked me if I wanted to go have lunch. (Curt worked from home today.) After lunch I walked back to the dealership, which was a pleasant and warmer 20-minute walk.

    I got in about 2 miles of walking today with a 90-minute Vinyasa yoga class this evening.

    Staying healthy with regular doctor’s visits

    Today I visited my doctor for my annual check-up. I was there about three weeks ago for my annual visit. But my doctor had a family emergency so I had to reschedule.

    I usually have my appointment in the morning. But today was an afternoon appointment. I had to wait almost a half an hour just to get in the little room.

    But once I was in the little room the nurse immediately took my weight, height, blood pressure and asked me the normal questions.

    The doctor was in there within minutes of the nurse stepping out.

    I had 10-15 minutes today with Dr. Fiscella. In that time she managed to perform my exam, chat me up about my allergies, my weird shoulder, exercise, my cholesterol and past and future travel plans.

    I see her once (maybe twice) a year and she remembers that I like to travel. She is well-traveled herself. So I love to hear her stories and talk to her about places we have been and plan to see.

    I really like Dr. Fiscella. I like her staff and her nurse practitioners. Everyone seems genuinely kind and happy to work there.

    It all made it worth waiting … Continue reading