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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.


  • Dec 25, 2013

According to the New York Times, on December 10, 2012 the biotechnology giant, Amgen, said it was acquiring deCODE Genetics, a gene-hunting business known for its “headline grabbing discoveries linking genetic variations to disease. DeCODE, a privately held company in Iceland has studied the local population to identify genetic variations linked to schizophrenia, cancer and numerous other diseases.” Dr. Kari Stefanson, a neurologist who had taught at the University of Chicago and Harvard, realized that Iceland, his native country, would be an ideal place to perform studies in an attempt to detect genetic variants that raise or lower the risk of various diseases. “Iceland has good medical and genealogical records and a population that is not very diverse genetically.” The National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research has awarded a grant to Dr. Jeffrey Gulcher of deCODE to investigate pain syndromes including TMD. We are extremely happy that the deCODE team has taken up the TMD challenge!

The following information is from the abstract that accompanied the grant application submitted by deCODE.

Abstract: This project proposes to generate new knowledge on the basic pathophysiology of chronic neuropathic pain by determining the genetic differences between patients who develop chronic neuropathic pain after initial tissue injury versus those who do not despite having the same acute tissue injury. The researchers will use the unique genetic resources gathered and developed at deCODE Genetics for whole genome sequence-based human pain genetics studies to uncover high risk variants of low frequency significantly associated to conversion from acute to chronic pain. The project will extensively re-phenotype large cohorts (groups of patients) with chronic neuropathic pain, including common forms of craniofacial pain. There are already over 12,000 Icelandic patients who have or are likely to have certain chronic neuropathic pain syndromes such as phantom tooth pain (persistent dento-alveolar pain (PDAP)), Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD), and post-mastectomy pain syndrome. The investigators will also screen a large cohort of Icelanders taking gabapentin or pregabalin for common chronic pain syndromes, including diabetic neuropathy and post-herpetic neuralgia. The extra phenotyping will give them additional dimensions beyond the basic pain symptomology on which to base the genetic analysis. It will also make it easier to replicate findings in outside pain cohorts that have already been well-phenotyped by their collaborators.

Although costs are dropping rapidly, it is still very expensive to fully sequence the genomes of the thousands of individuals that are required for well-powered disease association studies. These investigators can generate whole genome sequences for large cohorts of pain syndromes and controls in Iceland more quickly and cost-effectively than in other populations. By using their already existing genealogy database and high density DNA chip data they expect to find many new genetic associations that will increase our understanding of the conversion from acute to chronic neuropathic pain syndromes. The primary data generated in this grant will be made widely available for others to build on. 

TMJ Disorders


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