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.
"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.