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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.

Action Needed For Temporomandibular Disorders

  • Jan 27, 2017

Who Funds Research on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the largest funding agency of scientific research for TMD.  In 2010 approximately $17 million was spent on TMD research. Our hope for relief lies in the answers only science can provide and that science is largely funded by the NIH. However, funding at for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is at risk of being cut substantially over the next ten years.

What You Can Do to See That This Research Continues!

Congress is scheduled to break for recess from August 6 through September 7, 2012 and during this time members of Congress will be back in their home states to meet with constituents.

We urge you to contact your representative and senators by scheduling a meeting, sending a letter or e-mail, or attending a town hall meeting. Talk with them about the benefits of an increased investment in TMD and the importance of NIH-funded research on these conditions. People suffering the pain and dysfunction of TMD desperately need scientific research to improve understanding of these conditions and develop safe and effective treatments—ones that will not cause further pain and suffering.

The following are items you can bring up in discussions with your representative, your senators or their staff members.

Why TMD Research is Desperately Needed?

  • TMD research is in its infancy
    • Most of the causes and risk factors are not known
    • There are no widely accepted standard diagnostic tests
    • No medical or dental specialty of qualified experts exists
  • There are no established standards of care; the 50+ treatments available are based on belief, not scientific evidence
  • TMD are complex and poorly understood conditions. Depending on severity, TMD can affect a person’s ability to speak, chew, swallow, make facial expressions and even breathe.
  • A growing consensus of scientists considers TMD a complex family of conditions involving genetic, gender, environmental and behavioral factors.
  • Approximately 35 million people in the United States are affected by TMD at any given time. Ninety percent of the most severe cases are women in their childbearing years.
  • Insurance companies tend not to cover TMD treatments given the lack of science underlying treatments. As a result, patients must pay for treatments out of pocket.
TMJ Disorders


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In Treating TMJ

To view or order a free booklet about TMJ Disorders, visit the National Institutes of Health website.

National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Office of Research on Women's Health