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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.

Patients in Los Angeles or New York City Needed for Clinical Study - Comparative Study of Women Considering or Currently Receiving Botox© Injections for TMJ Pain

Are you a woman with "TMJ" pain in facial muscles, who has either: a. recently had Botox© injections for your pain or b. not had Botox© for your pain but has thought about such treatment? If either is true for you, you may qualify for an observational research study centrally administered by the NYU College of Dentistry. It is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The purpose of this study is to understand potential health risks that may be caused by treating "TMJ pain" with Botox© injections.

Patients Front and Center at the 2018 TMJ Patient-Led RoundTable

It is still all too fresh in the minds of many patients. Fifty years ago, between the 1970s and 1980s, some 10,000 TMJ patients received Vitek jaw implant devices.

Funding Opportunities now available for the NIH Common Fund’s Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures program

The NIH Common Fund's Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures program aims to understand the biological characteristics underlying the transition from acute to chronic pain and what makes some people susceptible and others resilient to the development of chronic pain.

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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