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New Report on Temporomandibular Disorders: Priorities for Research and Care

Over a year and half ago, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) began the most comprehensive study ever undertaken on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD). The study assessed the current state of TMD research, education and training, the safety and efficacy of clinical treatments, and associated burden and costs.

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.

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.


  • Feb 26, 2020

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.

Every Day Is TMJ Education Day! 

  • Educate your health care providers.  Provide them with a copy of our free TMJ brochure at your next visit and place a Post-it note in the sections of the brochure you want them to read.  Share it with your primary care physician, your dentist, ENT, PT, school nurse, and others.
  • Contact your elected officials.  Schedule an appointment to visit your elected officials.  Educate them about TMJ disorders, the treatments you've undergone, money you've spent on treatments, and your current state of health.  Discuss the need for quality science in this field to help us find the answers we need.  Contact us before your scheduled appointment and we'll be happy to provide you with brochures to leave with your elected officials. The TMJA will also follow up with your represenative regarding your concerns. And don't forget, send a thank you letter to your elected official after your visit thanking them for their time.

TMJ Report Language

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.

What is the National Institutes of Health (NIH)? Why is it Important to TMJ Patients?

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.