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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.

TMD and Concentration

  • Jan 27, 2017

Patients in pain first and foremost are concerned with their pain and how to alleviate it.  TMD patients also worry about using their jaws—can they open wide, chew their food, speak, and otherwise express their feelings. Along with those worries come other concerns: trouble sleeping, feeling tired, simply not feeling up to doing what they normally would be doing at home or at work. Now a new study of TMD patients conducted by a team of German investigators led by Oliver Schierz at the University of Leipzig suggests that part of that not feeling up to snuff may be limitations in the ability to concentrate.

Dr. Schierz noted that few studies have explored cognitive functions in people with painful TMD.  Not so for patients with fibromyalgia, he says, where negative effects on attention and memory have been reported and even referred to as “fibro fog”. On the basis of this knowledge, and in order to validate clinical observations, 286 patients with a diagnosis of painful TMD were asked about limitations in their ability to concentrate caused by problems in the area of the orofacial region. The resulting data were then compared with general population data based on a German regional survey.

The findings suggest that patients with painful TMD show a significantly higher percentage of an "often" or "very often" impaired ability to concentrate compared to the general population (24% vs. 1.2%). Men and women patients were alike in reporting problems with concentration.  Moreover, in the group of patients with painful TMD, the impairment increased with the severity of their chronic pain in a dose–response fashion.

About Dr. Schierz.  He is in the Department of Prosthodontics and Materials Science in the Medical Faculty of the University of Leipzig. His research interest is in dental anxiety and tooth wear as well as in the epidemiology of TMD with special emphasis on psychosocial factors.

TMJ Disorders


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