“For certain reasons (possibly some dental work), I began to clench my jaw significantly more over the summer of 2008. As a result of this, my jaw muscles began to increase in size. Not only did I begin losing significant amounts of sleep, but I also became increasingly concerned about the physical appearance of the enlarged muscles. After many, many visits to various dentists, jaw surgeons and orthodontists, I was finally referred to Dr. Tanenbaum. Over time, his course of treatment including the provision of a bite plate and trigger point injections proved to be just the right solution over the course of time. Thanks to Dr. Tanenbaum my general physical and mental health (and thus quality of life) improved significantly.
— Avery S. NYC
“Dr. Tanenbaum literally gave me my life back. After months of suffering and several incorrect diagnoses, his understanding of the brain and its relationship to dental/facial pain made all the difference. Thanks to Dr. Tanenbaum's approach and patience, today I feel great! Best, ”
— Laurie B. NYC
“I owe Dr. Tanenbaum a debt of gratitude. My jaw ached, I had limited range of jaw motion for chewing; which meant I could only eat soft food. After my visits with Dr. Tanenbaum along with the prescribed physical therapy I was able to get back to normal eating. It is great to be able to enjoy a steak, bite into an apple and eat a hero sandwich again!!! Thanks Dr. Tanenbaum”
— Rosemary S. NYC
“Thank you, thank you for helping me feel better and just for for supporting me. I am so grateful to have found you. I know you really try hard to help me through pain and I appreciate it. I really admire you and you inspire me to become stronger. I have little support from others, so I am particularly thankful. Your approach to facial pain changed my life. Not only did you address my physical pain, but you gave me insight into what was driving my pain, and what it would take to make life changing decisions that would finally enable me to let go of my unhappiness. This was one of the most important elements to my getting better.”
— Linda R. Brooklyn, NY
“By helping me to see that my two-year battle with facial pain was due to the stress created by multiple sclerosis, you gave me the key to getting better.”
— Len S., Queens NY
“Without you, I never could have imagined how jaw pain, difficulty lock jaw could have been related to my busy schedule and taking care of everyone's needs but my own. As a word of encouragement for your other patients, tell them that there really is hope and a light at the end of the tunnel.”
— Sybil F., Queens NY
“After we first met, I began to do some thinking and realized that my face pain didn't just appear one morning as I suspected, but probably had been building over the course of many, many years, perhaps even over most of my lifetime. Because of your insight, I now realize that for most of my life I've carried huge amounts of stress in my mouth and jaw. I now know that all day long and even in my sleep, my jaw has been tight and tense and that is the cause of my pain.”
— Barbara O., Long Island NY
“Dr. Tanenbaum was able to help me, when no one else could. For a little over a decade, I have been suffering from chronic migraines. I had to deal with pain not only in my head, but also in my neck, shoulders, hands, and ears. I had seen top specialists in neurology and even took a trip to a prestigious hospital in Manhattan.
After trying various medications, both preventative, off label, and as needed, I didn't know where to turn. It wasn't until an ENT referred me to Dr. Tanenbaum, in my late 20s, that my quality of life had been greatly improved. While I am still a migraine sufferer, the frequency of my migraines and referred pain has been significantly reduced. This has allowed me to take less medication and restored my hope for a future with less, and hopefully one day, no migraines.
Communications regarding my treatments were always honest and realistic. I was fitted for a nighttime bite plate to reduce clenching and facial stress. Simultaneously, I started trigger point therapy which was the best treatment I ever received. Dr. Tanenbaum's approach of using trigger point injections reduced the muscular tension in my body and was instrumental in reliving the frequency of my headaches.
I want to thank Dr. Tanenbaum for his comprehensive treatments, honest feedback and recommendations. I would recommend his expertise to any person suffering with a TMJ and/or migraine condition.”
— B.C.R., Manhattan
“I thought I handled the stress and challenges of what life handed me well, but my brain had other plans. The good news is that there is help available, and where there is help, there is hope. No one afflicted with this debilitating condition needs to suffer. With the right doctor and appropriate protocol, a positive attitude, and the motivation to get better, anyone with TMD can return to the normal, productive, fulfilling life they once had.
Dr. Tanenbaum has the ability to do pain management with his very presence. His approach to this field is calming and thoughtful. Dr. Tanenbaum has guided me through times of intense pain that subsided under his care. He is an accomplished and experienced dentist who takes one's entire history into consideration at every visit. He is an advocate for his patients and understands women's health issues, and their connection to dentistry. I am grateful to be a patient of Dr. Tannenbaum's and to benefit from his vast expertise and compassion.”
— Beth K. NY
“My Journey began in December 2009 when I began to have headaches over my right eye, buzzing in my ear and pain in my right cheek and lower jaw. I was first treated for a possible sinus infection, then had oral surgery, was sent for a CAT scan, met with another ENT physician and was sent for an MRI of the brain, met with a neurologist to rule out anything serious and was told I could treat the pain with medication.
I was not satisfied with the unknown source of my pain and went back to the dentist that did the surgery and he suggested I see Donald Tanenbaum. I called from that office excited of about the prospect of diagnosis and cure, as I was told he was" the man" to see for facial pain and was lucky to be seen that day.
The man, is too simplistic, "my hero" is more like it! 8 months later I am almost back to being pain free.
This was accomplished in 3 visits. What impressed me most about "my hero" was as I do with every client, he spent a good hour talking with me to explore what could be triggering the pain. Unfortunately, more often than not, the medical model does not take the time to look at the person as whole. They are focused on diagnosis and medication. My determination to find the underlying cause first, as I do with patients lead us to discover I was clenching my teeth during my Dad's battle with cancer for the past 3 years. He passed away in November 2009 and that is when the pain began.
I can only hope that more people will not suffer as long as I did and go through the journey of 8 months of uncertainty, Dr. Tanenbaum will be a friend and referral source of the www.thembaprogram.com and for life.”
— Beth Elgort LCSW founder of The MBA Mind Body Awareness Program, NYC
“My TMJ journey started years before I recognized I had a problem. By the time I sought the help of an expert, I had been unable to eat solid food for three months, could only talk with minimal mouth movement, avoided laughing, and ultimately forgot how I was supposed to close my mouth; "didn't my teeth used to meet in some "woven" fashion?" I asked myself. Needless to say, I suffer from a bit of Doctor-avoidance but there was no ignoring my dilemma.
After I consulted with my local dentist, he advised me to seek the help of a "TMJ Specialist". So I asked my husband's New York Oncologist for a reference. His medical colleagues recommended Dr. Donald Tanenbaum; known to be one of the national experts in the field.
When I visited Dr. Tanenbaum I was in a distressed state. I was feeling hopeless and thinking life with this kind of discomfort was really not fun. After 360 degree x-ray "head shots" were taken, his medical assistant informed me that DR. T. wanted to talk to me which I thought was a bit odd but was willing to do anything to get help. His first inquiry was "So what is going on in your life?" This important question marked the beginning of my healing journey.
I am a problem-solver and was hoping for a quick fix to my TMJ condition but through the education provided by Dr. T, I soon understood that some cases of TMJ are multi-layered – really 3-dimensional. Because to begin to solve the pain and suffering caused by TMJ, one needs to view it through the lens of a psychologist, physical therapist, orthopedist, psychiatrist, acupuncturist and dentist. Complicated? You bet.
Dr. T's approach to treat TMJ in this holistic manner requires him to wear all these Dr. Hats which makes him an artist of sorts. His solutions and ideas to my particular case were applied in baby steps. Using this "try and observe" method, time was allowed to determine the effectiveness of each of the varied treatments. Over a period of 2 years, I received monthly trigger point shots to relieve stress and tension in jaw and neck, prescription drugs to relax jaw muscles at night and also to relieve basic anxiety/stress, exercises prescribed by an MD Physical therapist as well as weekly physical visits, "bio-feedback" approaches to modify stress-induced physical responses, day retainer during the day and mouth guard at night to prevent teeth grinding and finally temporary and then permanent dental work to correct work previously done when my jaw was in the "wrong" position.
In the end, through this holistic approach, I have been given my life back. I now feel like I have control over my condition and know the tools I can apply when stress starts to build and old habits return. Life is good.”
— Harriet H., New Jersey
“My TMJ journey started years before I recognized I had a problem (more commonly know as TMJ) as a condition which was the by-product of stress, anxiety, and tension. The condition produced some jaw pain and maybe some "clicking sounds" in the jaw.
And like most people, I thought that all TMD including mine could be managed with some Ibuprophen or aspirin or a good night's sleep. How wrong was I…?
In October 2007 I started to experience a sensation of the muscles across the bridge of my nose tightening. I found myself constantly applying pressure to and massaging the muscles to perhaps relax and stretch them out.
Shortly thereafter, everyday common sounds started to become bothersome; the washer and dryer or vacuum, the television and stereo. Even the sound of my own voice... Noises seemed to be more intense and magnified. I started to notice a constant, unrelenting ringing in my ears and they always felt full and clogged. I was continually "popping my ears" to clear them. The breaking point was at a restaurant one night when the level of sound became so irritating, I wanted to leave without finishing dinner. That night, I knew I needed help.
Since I had experienced minor problems with my sinuses in the past, my first thought was that these symptoms were sinus related. However, they checked out to be normal. The nurse practitioner at my ear, nose, and throat specialist's office suspected that my symptoms were related to TMD.
Because I was ignorant to these less common symptoms, I did some homework and research and learned that there are indeed many other "red flags", and I had most of them.
That same week I also saw my dentist for a routine exam. After some discussion with him, he referred me to Dr Tannenbaum.
The day of my first appointment with Dr "T", my symptoms had become chronic and severe. In addition to my other symptoms, now my entire face, from my forehead to my jaw hurt. Even my eye sockets hurt. To apply any pressure to the top of my head and especially my temples produced pain. My head felt as if it were in a vice being squeezed everywhere. I felt tired and lethargic all the time. My only relief was while I was asleep during the night.
After an extensive interview and a thorough exam, Dr T felt that my TMD symptoms were a result of a medical condition that I had been struggling with for well over a year.
In 2006 I had extensive ankle surgery due to a sports injury. My recovery was difficult and much slower than what was anticipated. I suffered from constant moderate to severe pain, complications and setbacks. I continually tried every viable medical treatment available without much improvement. With each new procedure that I tried my available life's savings slowly dwindled down to zero. Before the surgery I was very active in sports and was able to work at a job that took my all over the world. I never had to rely on someone else. Now everything had come to a complete standstill and I became dependent on another person.
Dr T concluded that the physical and emotional stress of the surgery, loss of savings and independence, and the inability to work or play were all catalysts to my problem. He suggested some physical therapy, some muscle trigger point injections, and a custom fitted rigid night guard. I was also taught how to help lessen the tension in my jaw.
Because I followed his suggestions and was consistent with the treatments, I experienced relief relatively quickly.
Today, I am usually totally free of the symptoms of TMD. Rarely will they start to surface, but when they do, they are easily controlled.
TMD does not discriminate. It could affect anyone. I thought I handled the stress and challenges of what life handed me well, but my brain had other plans.
The good news is that there is help available, and where there is help there is hope. No one afflicted with this which at times can be a debilitating condition needs to suffer. With the right doctor and appropriate protocol, a positive attitude and the motivation to never give up but to get better, anyone with TMD can return to the normal, productive, fulfilling life they once had.”
— Janice B., Long Island
Check out my new book: