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Pain Drawings: An Important Tool for Health Care Practitioners

Last year we shared with you a study in which investigators found patients with more severe and chronic TMD are likely to experience other persistent pain conditions in other parts of the body, seemingly unrelated to problems in the jaw or face. Yet patients often do not mention these "overlapping" or "comorbid" pain conditions when they see a dentist or health care provider.

Primary Temporomandibular Disorders and Comorbid Conditions

The aim of this study is to evaluate the distribution of the most common comorbid conditions associated with chronic temporomandibular disorders, and the pharmacological agents which play an integral role in the overall management of temporomandibular joint disorders. Abstract: INTROD

Overdiagnosis and Unnecessary Therapy

Many dental practitioners continue to use radiographic or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) as the sole means of establishing that there is a pathology present that requires treatment.

TMD Self-Management Programs

Self-management (SM) programs in temporomandibular disease (TMD) are a core component of pain management of TMD throughout its course and are often given to patients as a first essential step after diagnosis.

Honor Families Who Bravely Battle TMD

If you haven't done so already, please join me in making a year-end contribution to The TMJ Association (TMJA) in the honor of families like mine and yours who bravely battle this disease each and every day. Since my daughter, Alexandra, b

ASSOCIATED CONDITIONS

  • Oct 26, 2016

What Conditions May Overlap with TMD?

Scientists have found that 85% of patients with TMD also experience painful conditions in other parts of the body. These comorbid conditions include chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic headache, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, low back pain, sleep disorders, and vulvodynia. They are considered comorbid because they occur together more often than chance can explain. In addition, the conditions share other features. These findings are stimulating research into common mechanisms underlying all of these comorbid conditions. Indeed, other research indicates that TMD is a complex disease like hypertension or diabetes involving genetic,  environmental, behavioral, and sex-related factors. Note that many of the comorbidities mentioned are more prevalent or occur exclusively in women.

The following are health conditions that may co-exist with TMJ Disorders:

To call attention to these little understood pain conditions that primarily or exclusively affect women, The TMJ Association co-founded the Chronic Pain Research Alliance (CPRA) in 2009. CPRA is working to educate federal authorities and advance research to discover mechanisms common to these conditions and safe and effective treatments. As part of this effort, the CPRA has informational websites - www.ChronicPainResearch.org and www.EndWomensPain.org.

 


In Treating TMJ

To view or order a free booklet about TMJ Disorders, visit the National Institutes of Health website.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Office of Research on Women's Health