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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.

WHO TREATS TMD?

  • Oct 26, 2016

If you think you have a TMJ disorder, you may want to see a medical doctor to rule out some of the conditions that may mimic a TM disorder. For example, facial pain can be a symptom of many conditions, such as sinus or ear infections, decayed or abscessed teeth, various types of headache, facial neuralgia (nerve-related facial pain), and even tumors. If the medical doctor or your dentist gives you a diagnosis of a TMD, it is recommended that you consult our treatment section for guidance.

There is no medical or dental specialty of qualified experts trained in the care and treatment of TMD patients. As a result, there are no established standards of care in clinical practice. Although a variety of health care providers advertise themselves as “TMJ specialists,” the more than 50 different treatments available today are based largely on beliefs, not on scientific evidence.  Sir William Osler, the father of modern medicine, said "that when there are many treatments for a single condition, it is because none of them work."

Because there is no certified specialty in treating TMD in either dentistry or medicine, finding the right care can be difficult. The National Institutes of Health advises patients to look for a health care provider who understands musculoskeletal disorders (affecting muscle, bone and joints) and who is trained in treating pain conditions. Pain clinics in hospitals and universities are often a good source of advice, particularly when pain becomes chronic and interferes with daily life.

Complex cases, often marked by chronic and severe pain, jaw dysfunction, comorbid conditions, and diminished quality of life, will likely require a team of doctors from fields such as neurology, rheumatology, pain management and others to diagnose and treat this condition.

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