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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.

New Report on Temporomandibular Disorders: Priorities for Research and Care

With support from the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine appointed a committee to address the current state of knowledge regarding TMD research, education and training, safety and efficacy of clinical treatments, and associated burden and costs.

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.

The Wind Beneath Our Wings

  • Dec 19, 2013

I frequently think of all the people in my life who have been my support since my TMJ surgery, the so-called "wind beneath my wings." On December 27th I lost one of my staunchest supporters, my husband's mother. My own mother died when I was 27 and Norma Cowley generously, graciously, and lovingly filled that void. She always introduced me as her daughter and, more importantly, treated me as her own.

When I had the TMJ surgery, when my life of TMJ pain and dysfunction began, she and my father-in-law (a cardiologist) were in the dark about the disorder. But what mom did know is that I had difficulty eating and when she was cooking, all she cared about was whether I could eat what she was preparing for dinner. If I said it would be difficult, that dish was off the menu. It wasn't the biggest thing someone could do for me but in many ways it was, because it showed that she believed I had pain and that I had trouble eating—symptoms I rarely talked about because they were doubted by so many people.

As The TMJ Association grew and Allen and I discussed the state of science and treatments, and the plight and needs of the patients we represent, mom and dad were among our staunchest moral and financial supporters. Allen and I would discuss TMJ science with dad and mom cheered my activism. During my last visit with her when her words were few, she simply said, "Keep doing what you're doing. It's important."

Most of us are fortunate in having such support, people without whom life would be incredibly more difficult than it is. We’d like to hear from you about them: the ones who hold a special place in your heart because they understand how TMJ disorders affect your life and want to make it better. It would be a great way to honor them!

Terrie Cowley, President & Co-founder of The TMJ Association

The TMJ Association by Terrie Cowley

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