The more we work together to get the word out about TMJ disorders the more people will understand that it’s not just a matter of a clicking and a popping joint, but much more. In turn, that will bring pressure for increased research funding, increased education of all health care providers and increased understanding of TMJ by your friends, employers and loved ones.
Each year for 27 years, The TMJ Association's advocacy efforts have resulted in congressional report language. This report language lets the National Institutes of Health (NIH) know that elected officials are concerned that the research needs of TMJ patients should be addressed. These directives should have a powerful influence on the decisions made by government agencies. It is gratifying to report that Congress responds to the needs of TMJ patients and tracks the progress the NIH has made on their behalf.
For these devastating conditions we want the best science this country has to offer and we are fortunate to have the support of members of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Services Appropriations Subcommittee, responsible for funding the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This support deserves our thanks; take a moment to send a note of appreciation to the committee members.
Report Language appearing in the FY2020 Appropriations Bills:
Temporomandibular Disorders [National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research].—NIDCR is encouraged to continue collaboration with governmental agencies and other stakeholders in the project entitled Temporomandibular Disorders: From Research Discoveries to Clinical Treatment and to increase funding to expand the science base in this field.
Temporomandibular Disorders [Office of the Director].—-For the first time, the nation's leaders in health and medicine are enlisting experts to review all aspects of TMD, generating recommendations for research, regulation, and policy. To continue to build on advances in coordinated research and treatment, the agreement asks OD, as it continues to work with NASEM on the study, to explore the creation of a NIH inter-Institute TMD working group and to report to the Committees within 90 days following the publication of the final report.
The NIH, one of 10 federal agencies under the direction of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency that conducts and supports medical research. With the support of the American people, the NIH annually invests over $30 billion in medical research. The NIH is comprised of 27 Institutes and Centers. It provides leadership and financial support to researchers in every state, and at selected sites throughout the world. Helping to lead the way toward important medical discoveries that improve people's health and save lives, NIH scientists investigate ways to prevent disease, work to determine causes, and establish treatments, and even cures for common and rare diseases. One of those 27 components is the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), which supports the bulk of research on TMD. Now that scientific understanding has uncovered the neurological and other complexities of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD), an increasing number of components of the NIH are recognizing that they have a significant role in solving the puzzle of TMD by also providing funding for integral research programs.