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Pain Drawings: An Important Tool for Health Care Practitioners

Last year we shared with you a study in which investigators found patients with more severe and chronic TMD are likely to experience other persistent pain conditions in other parts of the body, seemingly unrelated to problems in the jaw or face. Yet patients often do not mention these "overlapping" or "comorbid" pain conditions when they see a dentist or health care provider.

Primary Temporomandibular Disorders and Comorbid Conditions

The aim of this study is to evaluate the distribution of the most common comorbid conditions associated with chronic temporomandibular disorders, and the pharmacological agents which play an integral role in the overall management of temporomandibular joint disorders. Abstract: INTROD

Overdiagnosis and Unnecessary Therapy

Many dental practitioners continue to use radiographic or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) as the sole means of establishing that there is a pathology present that requires treatment.

TMD Self-Management Programs

Self-management (SM) programs in temporomandibular disease (TMD) are a core component of pain management of TMD throughout its course and are often given to patients as a first essential step after diagnosis.

Honor Families Who Bravely Battle TMD

If you haven't done so already, please join me in making a year-end contribution to The TMJ Association (TMJA) in the honor of families like mine and yours who bravely battle this disease each and every day. Since my daughter, Alexandra, b

Dianne: Why Scientific Research Is Essential

  • May 13, 2015

Dianne contacted The TMJ Association to express her frustration with TMJ problems.

Dianne wrote: “My doctors are stumped and I’ve exhausted every therapy there is, including splints, physical and chiropractic therapy, acupuncture, trigger point injections, surgery, and remain on many medications including anti-depressants and painkillers. I’ve felt isolated and haven’t encountered anyone with a similar problem yet, but figure they must be out there…I’m glad I found this website. Maybe there is a future, hope, recognition and validation for all of us who suffer from painful TMJ disorders! I’ve personally found that this is an extremely difficult condition for which to obtain medical support. It is just as difficult to increase other people’s awareness and understanding of these disorders. We’ve been ignored, discredited and disregarded for too long! My own experience has been very discouraging and depressing thus far, but I hope that there are eventual solutions and answers out there for us with TMJ.

Subsequently—and sadly—we heard from Dianne’s family that she had committed suicide.

Dianne's Family wrote: “…we lost our dear Dianne at the young age of 32”. Her health problems of the past two years had gotten increasingly worse and she was in constant pain that often seemed unbearable. Talking or chewing made the pain worse and it was so hard for her to not speak. The many doctors and dentists she was seeing were making no progress in solving her jaw and muscle problems and did not give her much hope.”

Hopelessness in the presence of intractable pain must be countered by a redoubling of efforts to understand the causes of TMJ diseases and disorders and the support of research to develop safe and effective methods of diagnosis and treatment. The TMJ Association is passionate in its advocacy for sound science to provide the basis for hope and resolution of the problems of patients like Dianne.

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