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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.

Bioengineering the Temporomandibular Bone

  • Jul 10, 2019

Biomedical engineers at Columbia University have been successful in using stem cells to grow grafts of bone in the shape of the TM joint.  As Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic who heads the team remarked in a National Institutes of Health interview:

"Today, surgeons typically extract a piece of rib or bone from your leg. They then very precisely carve the bone in the surgery room, reinsert it into the problem area, and wrap muscle around the graft to cushion it and enhance blood flow. It’s just not the optimal approach. That’s why I don’t want to settle for incremental improvement. That said, I’m not talking here about engineering a huge, integral graft. We are looking at the pieces that are most needed. We also are looking very much into a modular approach, so that you can sort of construct what you need from individual pieces and make the surgeon’s life easier. You always try to make a difference. I want to change the way people are reconstructing bone."
This research will someday help patients who have had TMJ implants or may be contemplating implant surgery down the road. The bioengineered bone grafts are currently being tested in an animal model, but Dr. Vunjak-Novakovic believes the commercial technology is only a few years away.  Click here to read more about this research.
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Ph.D. is a professor of biomedical engineering and a professor of medicine at Columbia University in New York, where she serves as director of Columbia’s Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering and is the co-director of the Craniofacial Regeneration Center. Dr. Vunjak-Novakovic also is an associate director of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Resource Center for Tissue Engineering. 

TMJ Disorders


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