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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.

In with the New, Stuck with the Old

  • Dec 19, 2013

I send hearty congratulations to Deanne, TMJA's project coordinator, and to Danny and Susan of 11th Hour Solutions and the rest of the team for the hard work they put into developing the 2010 TMJ Association website. I’m proud of their work and the final product. I hope you find it easy to navigate and that the information you want is easily accessible.

When Danny said that we had to review all of the information on our previous site,  see what is relevant, what needed to be updated and of course, rewritten into friendlier text I thought – sure,  no problem – until I realized that the previous site was built in 2000 and every week for the past 10 years we have been adding information to the site so now it encompasses thousands of pages. It’s like the Encyclopedia Britannica of TMJ!

They wouldn’t let me get away without contributing to the effort so I put in my share of time into reviewing content. In life, jobs, projects, etc., there are “aha!” moments and I had one doing this. Going over the years of information what struck me is that the more things change the more they stay the same. What remains the same is that patients are still being treated the same way they were for decades, with treatments lacking scientific rigor being zealously sold to patients and dental organization factions fighting for market share. To acknowledge that they “get it” some now claim that their treatments cure headache, backache, sleep disorders, neurological and cardiovascular disorders, tinnitus, and such all in addition to TMJDs.

When we started out TMJ disorders were all about the teeth and jaws, but over the years there has been an evolutionary change acknowledging the need to approach TMJD research by studying the all the physiological systems of the body as a whole, noting any other medical and pain conditions a person has. This means bringing scientists from multiple disciplines to the TMJD research team as you would when researching other complex conditions. That is the heartening message I came away with. It's as though we stopped a train from coming down a mountain and turned it around so it’s now on its way up. Now research is going in the right direction. But we need more money directed toward TMJDs, more quality scientists from many disciplines to come into the field and we need to translate the latest scientific findings to the patient. Yes, we have much to do, but knowing we are headed into 21st century science makes the task ahead almost pleasant!   

The TMJ Association by Terrie Cowley

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In Treating TMJ

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

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National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
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