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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.

Don't be Fooled By False Claims

  • Jul 10, 2019

Health fraud scams can do more than waste your money. They can cause serious injury or even death, says Gary Coody, R.Ph., the FDA’s national health fraud coordinator. “Using unproven treatments can delay getting a potentially life-saving diagnosis and medication that actually works. Also, fraudulent products sometimes contain hidden drug ingredients that can be harmful when unknowingly taken by consumers.”

The Food and Drug Administration offers some "tip-offs" to help you identify rip-offs.

  • One product does it all. Be suspicious of products that claim to cure a wide range of diseases.
  • Personal testimonials. Success stories, such as, “It cured my diabetes” or “My tumors are gone,” are easy to make up and are not a substitute for scientific evidence.
  • Quick fixes. Few diseases or conditions can be treated quickly, even with legitimate products.
  • “All natural.” Some plants found in nature (such as poisonous mushrooms) can kill when consumed. Moreover, FDA has found numerous products promoted as “all natural” but that contain hidden and dangerously high doses of prescription drug ingredients or even untested but active artificial ingredients.
  • “Miracle cure.” Alarms should go off when you see this claim or others like, “new discovery,” “scientific breakthrough” or “secret ingredient.” If a real cure for a serious disease were discovered, it would be widely reported through the media and prescribed by health professionals—not buried in print ads, TV infomercials or on Internet sites.
  • Conspiracy theories. Claims like “The pharmaceutical industry and the government are working together to hide information about a miracle cure” are always untrue and unfounded. These statements are used to distract consumers from the obvious, common-sense questions about the so-called miracle cure.

And What About TMJ Treatment Claims?

"There is too much unproven treatment still accepted by the dental and medical community, and I am worried that the prime mover of treatment protocol is the money to be made from these suffering patients," wrote a TMJ News Bites subscriber.

The authors of a 2008 systematic review comparing TMD surgical and non-surgical treatments stated, "With some 20 years of knowledge of evidence-based healthcare, the meager attention to these issues begins to raise ethical issues about TMD trial conduct and clinical care." An ethical issue is the harm that can be caused to the patient by treatments that have not undergone scientific scrutiny. To acknowledge and address this problem, The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, an agency of the National Institutes of Health, launched a TMD awareness campaign - "Less is Often Best in Treating TMJ."

According to Dr. Christian Stohler, Dean of the University of Maryland Dental School in Baltimore and Member of the Board of Directors of The TMJ Association, "A lot has changed on the TMD front in the last 15 years. Today, we realize TMD is a group of highly complex diseases involving many genes, hormones and a myriad of complex biologic factors." It's also important to note that over 36 million Americans are affected and the majority are women in their childbearing years. The issue of why women are more affected by TMD has stimulated increased endocrinology research in this area.

So buyer beware: Don't be fooled by advertisements that claim they can easily fix a TMJ problem. Though we don't have any easy answers as to how to treat TMD, the good news is scientists and the healthcare community are beginning to recognize TMD as complex medical conditions.

TMJ Disorders


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