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New Report on Temporomandibular Disorders: Priorities for Research and Care

Over a year and half ago, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) began the most comprehensive study ever undertaken on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD). The study assessed the current state of TMD research, education and training, the safety and efficacy of clinical treatments, and associated burden and costs.

Statement by NIDCR Acting Director on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Report on Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

I am pleased to announce the release of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report, Temporomandibular Disorders: Priorities for Research and Care. As underscored by the comprehensive report, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJDs) are a diverse and still poorly understood set of complex, painful conditions affecting the jaw muscles and tissues, temporomandibular joints, and associated nerves. Clearly, there is much more to be understood, and these conditions continue to confound medical and dental health care providers and researchers.

Have you seen the film Dark Waters?

The Film. Dark Waters is about attorney Robert Billott's real-life 20 year legal battle against DuPont chemical for releasing toxic waste - perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA - into Parkersburg, West Virginia's water supply, with devastating health effects on the townspeople and livestock. PFOA, also known as C8, is a man-made chemical. It is used in the process of making Teflon and similar chemicals known as fluorotelomers.

Online TMD Diet Diary Research Project

Online TMD Diet Diary Research Project The TMJ Association received the following request from Professor Justin Durham and his research team at Newcastle University. We encourage TMJ patients to participate in this project as it is an under researched

Drug Induced Bruxism

The authors of this article state that orofacial movement disorders (bruxism) are treated typically by dental professionals and not by those specialists (neurologists) researching and treating the other movement disorders (Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, tremors, etc.). Again, this is more evidence of the complexity of TMD and the need for multidisciplinary research and treatment in TMD.

Eighth Scientific Meeting of The TMJ Association

  • Sep 1, 2016

The Eighth Scientific Meeting of The TMJ Association - How Can Precision Medicine Be Applied to Temporomandibular Disorders and its Comorbidities?

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Bethesda, Maryland, September 11-13, 2016


The need for this meeting is driven by the high prevalence of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in the U.S.: some 36 million individuals. Many of these patients whose jaw pain and dysfunction become chronic (largely women in their childbearing years) also experience other painful conditions (comorbidities). These conditions include vulvodynia, chronic tension-type and migraine headaches, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome, chronic low back pain and endometriosis. For these patients life is an unceasing burden of physical, psychological and financial costs. Unfortunately, there continues to be a dearth of scientific understanding of the etiology of TMD and their comorbidities as well as how best to diagnose and treat them.  

The 2016 meeting is focused on how methods of Precision Medicine can inform the treatment of TMD and the comorbid conditions. Current diagnostics and treatments do not reflect recent findings in the state of the science and fall short in meeting the needs of patients. Successful application of Precision Medicine technology to TMD and its comorbidities will enable providers to classify TMD patients into subgroups according to specific diagnostic criteria and lead to tailored, more effective treatments to relieve their pain and suffering.

Presentations and discussions will focus on the challenges of obtaining precise molecular and phenotypic measurements from thousands of patients, repeatedly and efficiently. These challenges include development of methods to analyze and integrate large data sets from multiple modalities such as clinical measurements, imaging data, DNA sequence variants, and epigenetic profiles. The meeting will engage key scientific leaders, National Institutes of Health representatives and patient advocates and will yield recommendations to advance research in the field.


The specific aims of the meeting are to:

1. Convene scientists to explore how “precision medicine” can be applied to advance the diagnostics and treatments of the unique pathologies and comorbid pain conditions of subsets of TMD patients.

2. Assess what kinds of studies should be conducted in precision medicine and how aggregated results of “N-of-1 trials” can provide information on how to improve treatment of patients.

3. Determine which physiological and clinical tests (genetic, neurological, microbiomic, etc.) can best characterize subsets of TMD patients, enabling more selective—and more effective—treatments.

4. Invite and introduce the next generation of young investigators to the field of TMD and comorbid pain conditions and to the basic and clinical research challenges/opportunities they represent.

5. Develop recommendations for the scientific community and National Institutes of Health, which will advance our understanding of how applications in precision medicine can be applied to TMD and the comorbid chronic pain conditions.

Because the meeting has been designed to bring together scientists and clinicians knowledgeable about each of the complex conditions named above, the hope is to stimulate cross-collaborative studies as a means to accelerate progress and ultimately benefit patients. Toward that end young investigators have been invited to encourage their career commitments to engage in TMD and related research. As in past TMJ Association scientific meetings, patients themselves will participate in panel presentations and discussions, providing opportunities for experts and patients to learn from each other in formal and informal exchanges.


Clinical and basic scientists, physicians, dentists and other health professionals, federal agency officials, patients and loved ones, and patient advocates for the comorbid conditions are encouraged to participate.


Click here to view the meeting agenda


Click here for the meeting registration form


Click here to view speaker and poster abstracts (Not yet available)

Meeting Announcements


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