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TMJ Patient RoundTable Project: Status Update

The TMJ Association is acting as the catalyst to develop the TMJ Patient RoundTable, a broad initiative to advance the interests of patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD). It encompasses collaborations with all stakeholders and

Educational Brochures on Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions

This brochure addresses what are Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPCs), how COPCs are diagnosed, the complexity of the chronic pain experience, and how to work with your health care provider to develop a treatment plan. It is available by postal ma

Study Highlights TMD Evidence and Current Practice Gaps

The TMJ Association has long championed the need for strong evidence-based demonstrations of the safety and efficacy of TMD diagnostics and treatments. Sad to say, as the following journal article indicates, even among a network of research-oriented practices, dental providers are still resorting to such TMD treatments as occlusal adjustments in which teeth are irreversibly moved, ground down, or in other ways altered, a treatment for which there is no scientific evidence of efficacy.

Beware of Ticks and Lyme Disease

We are currently in the peak season for Lyme disease. Each year at this time we highlight this topic because we have heard from a number of patients over the years who were misdiagnosed and underwent unnecessary TMD treatments when they actually had Lyme

#*!"@!**! ... May Help Your Pain... and Improve Strength!

Our headline is adopting the comic strip convention of using symbols to denote swear words because we are intrigued by a report that swearing may have some health benefits.

Courtney's Story

  • May 13, 2015

I'm a 21-year-old mom. I have been suffering from TMJ since I was 13 when I was fitted with braces. Suddenly, I had terrible facial pain which bothered me for years. It improved over time, until last week, when I needed to have some dental work done. Because I had not had severe pain for awhile, I neglected to tell my new dentist about my previous history with TMJ. That day, I had to sit with my mouth wide open for about 45 minutes as the dentist filled six teeth.

The next day I awoke to excruciating pain on the left side of my face. It became so bad that I couldn’t open my mouth at all, so that night I went to the ER at my local hospital. At the hospital, the doctor prescribed an antibiotic, assuming that I had an infection. He also prescribed Percocet for the pain. These medications made me nauseous and they only relieved the pain for about two hours, after a while it returned worse than before. I couldn't move my mouth and I couldn't talk. The only thing that gave me any relief was to put scalding hot wash cloths on my face. Not knowing what else to do, I returned to the ER. This time the doctor assumed that I was a drug seeker, so he gave me a shot of Toradol and told me to see my dentist.

Again, the treatment (the shot) helped me temporarily and I slept through the night, but the morning brought another day of unbearable pain. I tried taking high doses of Motrin and Tylenol even knowing that wasn’t a smart thing to do, but I needed to find some relief.

I did return to my dentist as fast as I could, but at the appointment, he said that he was sorry, he couldn’t help me anymore. He referred me to an oral maxillofacial surgeon. This time I was given a prescription for Valium and even that is not helping – the pain is intense and my ear hurts so much.

One of the worst parts of my story is that I was feeling that nobody I went to believed me when I described my pain and how terrible it was – and it is! Then I found this website [www.tmj.org] and learned that I am not alone. It was such a relief to know that there are many others who understand what I’m going through, because they are experiencing it, too. The website has taught me so much about TMD. I am so glad I found it and I wish good luck to everyone suffering from this horrible disease.

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