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National Academy of Medicine Study on Temporomandibular Disorders

The first meeting of the National Academy of Medicine Committee on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD): From Research Discoveries to Clinical Treatment will be held Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C.&

Attention Canadian TMJ Implant Patients

The Trial of the Class Action brought by Canadian patients who were implanted with Vitek Proplast TMJ implants, against Health Canada, alleging negligent regulation starts on April 1, 2019 in Toronto.

Long-term Changes in Biopsychosocial Characteristics Related to Temporomandibular Disorder: Findings from the OPPERA Study

The following article by Roger B. Fillingim, Gary D. Slade, Joel D. Greenspan, Ronald Dubner, William Maixner, Eric Bair, and Richard Ohrbach was published in the journal of Pain, November 2018. We are grateful to Dr. Fillingim for writing the following

National Academy of Medicine to Conduct a Study on Temporomandibular Disorders

We want you to be among the first to know that because of the advocacy efforts of The TMJ Association, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) will conduct a first-ever study on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD).

Dentists in Distress

Fear of the dentist is practically a rite of passage in youth. Growing up, I wasn't exactly afraid of the dentist; rather, any excuse to leave school early was a powerful incentive. These days, I have a more complicated relationship with dentistry: I go to get answers and try to feel better, but I always pop a prophylactic ibuprofen or two in case my jaw protests from the oral gymnastics.

The Latest Treatment Craze in TMJ…Neuromuscular Dentistry

  • Nov 27, 2015

Neuromuscular dentistry is a dental treatment philosophy intended to correct a “malalignment”of the jaw at the temporomandibular joint and produce a balanced bite. The neuromuscular dentist uses several computerized instruments to measure your jaw movements and jaw muscle activity to determine the extent of your problem and to establish a “physiologic rest position” for the jaw. Here are some of the measurement techniques and procedures used:

  • Sonography – measures vibrations from the joint when you open and close your mouth to identify joint derangements.
  • Electromyography (EMG) – involves placing surface electrodes over the jaw muscles that pick up electrical impulses and send them to the recording instrument. It is used to measure the activity in the muscles during various movements.
  • Jaw Tracking (Electrognathograph, Kinesiography) – analyzes mandibular movements three dimensionally. A headset is placed on the patient and a magnet is attached to the lower front teeth. Recording of the lower jaw movement is then made.
  • TENS – ultra-low frequency electrical stimulation of the muscles to relieve muscle spasms and pain and help establish a “physiologic” jaw position.

Once the rest position of the jaw is determined, the patient undergoes extensive restorative dental procedures or orthodontics to maintain this new position.

Neuromuscular dentistry can cost from $3,500 to $25,000+ for 4-6 months to one year or more of treatment.  Insurance companies typically do not cover the TMJ- related costs due to the lack of  a scientific evidence base for such treatment.

According to the American Association For Dental Research’s March 3, 2010 Policy Statement on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)  “…the consensus of recent scientific literature about currently available technological diagnostic devices for TMDs is that except for various imaging modalities, none of them shows the sensitivity and specificity required to separate normal subjects from TMD patients or to distinguish among TMD subgroups.”  In other words, those who practice neuromuscular dentistry have their own standards for what are normal and abnormal readings which may lead to a “false positive” - meaning people may be told they have a TMJ problem when they really don’t, leading to unnecessary treatments.

Neuromuscular dentistry is NOT a specialty recognized by the American Dental Association.  Although a variety of healthcare providers advertise themselves as TMJ specialists, treatments available today are based largely on beliefs, not on scientific evidence.

This article was reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Daniel Laskin, the TMJA's clinical consultant.

TMJ Disorders

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