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Statement by NIDCR Acting Director on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Report on Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

I am pleased to announce the release of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report, Temporomandibular Disorders: Priorities for Research and Care. As underscored by the comprehensive report, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJDs) are a diverse and still poorly understood set of complex, painful conditions affecting the jaw muscles and tissues, temporomandibular joints, and associated nerves. Clearly, there is much more to be understood, and these conditions continue to confound medical and dental health care providers and researchers.

New Report on Temporomandibular Disorders: Priorities for Research and Care

With support from the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine appointed a committee to address the current state of knowledge regarding TMD research, education and training, safety and efficacy of clinical treatments, and associated burden and costs.

Have you seen the film Dark Waters?

The Film. Dark Waters is about attorney Robert Billott's real-life 20 year legal battle against DuPont chemical for releasing toxic waste - perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA - into Parkersburg, West Virginia's water supply, with devastating health effects on the townspeople and livestock. PFOA, also known as C8, is a man-made chemical. It is used in the process of making Teflon and similar chemicals known as fluorotelomers.

Online TMD Diet Diary Research Project

Online TMD Diet Diary Research Project The TMJ Association received the following request from Professor Justin Durham and his research team at Newcastle University. We encourage TMJ patients to participate in this project as it is an under researched

Drug Induced Bruxism

The authors of this article state that orofacial movement disorders (bruxism) are treated typically by dental professionals and not by those specialists (neurologists) researching and treating the other movement disorders (Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, tremors, etc.). Again, this is more evidence of the complexity of TMD and the need for multidisciplinary research and treatment in TMD.

YOUR TMJ Association’s Impact in 2014

  • Oct 27, 2016

We wish you and your family a joyous holiday season and healthy year ahead. Year's end is the time we reflect upon the past and look to the future. We are grateful for your moral and financial support that resulted in several impressive accomplishments in 2014.  

The highlight of the year was our seventh scientific meeting, Genetic, Epigenetic, and Mechanistic Studies of Temporomandibular Disorders and Overlapping Pain Conditions. The meeting was cosponsored by agencies of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the recommendations from this high-caliber scientific meeting will direct future research on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) and overlapping pain conditions. The meeting report and abstracts have been published in the journal, Molecular Pain.


Another result of our advocacy efforts is the NIH funding opportunity for comprehensive research on the Biology of the Temporomandibular Joint, which will lead to a better understanding of total joint structure and mechanics including the interactions of the skeletal, muscular, nervous, immune, and circulatory systems using new in vivo and in vitro models is needed. An expected outcome is new knowledge that will provide a basis for developing novel approaches to prevent, diagnose, assess risk, and treat TMD.


The TMJ Association has been at the forefront in highlighting the fact that over 85% of TMD patients have other chronic pain conditions. The TMJA joined forces with several patient advocacy organizations to form the Chronic Pain Research Alliance (CPRA), the country's first and only research-led collaborative advocacy effort dedicated to addressing chronic overlapping pain conditions. In June, the NIH posted a funding opportunity to encourage research that will increase our understanding of multiple chronic pain conditions (including TMD) for people with pain.


In 2015, we will continue our advocacy, information dissemination, patient support and education efforts on TMD and those conditions that coexist with TMD. Over the past 10 years, we have moved TMJ science from the doldrums to cutting edge. TMD is no longer merely about teeth and jaws but rather a complex disease with many contributing factors, including painful conditions in other parts of the body-even the whole body. This new knowledge will be a game-changer in how TMD is diagnosed and treated. However, patients continue to be harmed because this science has not been translated to their primary care physician's office, nor their dentist's. Our next step is to explore ways to bring the science to health care providers.


With your financial contributions, imagine what we can accomplish together in 2015!


With sincere gratitude,


Terrie Cowley

President & Co-founder


©2015 The TMJ Association, Ltd. All rights

The TMJ Association by Terrie Cowley


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