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Consider Including the TMJA in Your Financial Planning

We were recently contacted by Tom P. who informed us that he was including The TMJ Association (TMJA), in his financial planning. Tom wrote the following for us to share with our readers:

The Scoop on TMD Pharmaceuticals

Let's say the National Institutes of Health just handed us a multi-million dollar grant to get to the bottom of TMD and find a cure once and for all. I mean, we could start handing out heating pads left and right, but that kind of relief can only get us so far. Whenever I try a different form of therapy or medication, I like to think about the biology, right down to the cellular and molecular level. Why are the cells that make up my jaw region being such jerks?

Join Us AT TMJ Cafe

The TMJ Association is pleased to partner with Inspire to bring you the TMJ Cafe, a free online support network and discussion community for those with Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD). We invite you to meet others like you, share experiences and tips for getting through the day, and give and receive support.

Sustained and Repeated Mouth Opening Leads to Development of Painful Temporomandibular Disorders Involving Macrophage/Microglia Activation in Mice

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a set of heterogeneous musculoskeletal conditions involving the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and/or the masticatory muscles. Up to 33% of the population has had at least one symptom of TMD with 5-10% of them requiring treatment. Common symptoms include limited jaw movement, joint sound, and pain in the orofacial area. Once TMD becomes chronic, it can be debilitating with comorbidities that greatly reduce one's overall quality of life. However, the underlying mechanism of TMD is unclear due to the multicausative nature of the disease.

Prevalence of TMD in Sjӧgren Syndrome Patients

Sjӧgren's Syndrome seems to play a role in temporomandibular joint disorders.

Debbie's Story

  • May 13, 2015

I have been a diagnosed TMJ sufferer for more than 26 years. My story is a rather lengthy one.  But the short version is that I still have pain and now I have severe nerve damage.  I always tried to do the least invasive treatments and they seemed to work but only for a short while.  So, in the past 11 years I have had four surgeries to my jaw.

The first to just the left side in 2000 was to repair a dislocated and torn disc. I was pretty much pain free for five years when the “warranty” ran out. 

In 2005 I had the same surgery to the same side of my jaw by the same surgeon. This time I was never pain free and my surgeon refused to hear that I was in the same amount of pain after the surgery as before.  Due to the ailing health of my Mother and her death in 2006, I had to put my pain aside and take of her and my Dad and younger sister. 

In 2007 I had yet another surgery, this time a bilateral procedure that lasted five hours. Again, both discs were dislocated and both discs had significant holes in them. I was bone on bone and really had no choice but to have yet another arthroplasty.  This time my entire left side was completely swollen and I was transported by ambulance from the outpatient facility to the main hospital and had a three day stay courtesy of my jaw surgery.

Now the nightmare of numerous tests begins as everyone believes I’ve suffered a stroke because of the swelling and weakness on just my left side.  Turns out that’s not the problem at all; however, I wasn’t told that for many months to come namely about 18 months of trips to the emergency room and several days in the hospital under observation. 

I regularly saw a neurologist who never told me of my condition and repeatedly said I had Bells Palsy and that the nerves were regenerating and I was doing just fine.  Funny though, I never felt fine!  I complained always of the same thing; I have a burning pain in my left side of my face, my lower lip tingles and I still can’t raise my eyebrow on the left side so my smile is crooked.  But, I was doing just fine!  I regularly checked my symptoms on the internet and repeatedly came up with same diagnosis…what a wonderful invention the internet is…my internet diagnosis is Trigeminal Neuralgia! 

I’ve recently found a new neurologist and he’s now trying to get my nerve pain under control. Unfortunately for me I don’t respond well to medications and get the least known side effects that manifest quickly and to a great extent.  The new neurologist has said that not only do I have the 5th cranial nerve damaged which is for the Trigeminal Neuralgia I also have the 7th facial nerve damaged.  Lucky me, but my jaw is fixed and I can open and eat when I don’t have significant nerve pain. 

What a life we TMJ sufferers live. I’ll never eat a hamburger the way most people do (I cut mine up and rarely eat the bread) and I’ll never eat a slice of pizza by merely putting it my mouth and taking a bite and pulling it out of my mouth ( I cut mine up on a plate)…makes for a wonderful diet.  I’ve even been told I have such “dainty” eating habits little do people realize I would just like to eat like everyone else.

So, I just really wanted to share a small portion of my story and ask if anyone else has the same complications as I’ve had after repeated surgeries or has no one had as many arthroplasties as I’ve had? And, I’d like to know what treatments others are being prescribed for this same condition.  If there is no one, perhaps one of the many experts who are associated with the TMJ Association would be willing to discuss this with me.

My sincerest wishes for a Happy New Year to all TMJ sufferers and those who support this terrible disease.

©2015 The TMJ Association, Ltd. All rights


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