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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.

Does Estrogen Diminish TMJ Pain?

  • Dec 26, 2013

The typical profile of patients with TM Disorders is of women in their child-bearing years. This means that they undergo fluctuating levels of estrogen in the bloodstream, depending upon the phase of the menstrual cycle, with estrogen levels highest near ovulation.

Researchers studying an experimental TMJ pain model in rats have noted that pain in these female animals appears to be reduced in the pre-ovulatory phase when estrogen levels are highest.

Now, a team of scientists, headed by Dr. Philip Kramer at Texas A&M Health Science Center, Baylor College of Dentistry, have screened animals' nerve tissue that supplies sensation to the TM joint area to see whether there are specific genes which are turned on in response to stimulation by estrogen. (There are estrogen receptors in the nerve tissue of interest.) Their article cites two genes in particular which code for proteins that can reduce pain signals from the joint area and which are more active (gene expression is increased) in response to estrogen. In continuing studies the researchers are manipulating expression of these genes to see how changes in gene activity affect the animals’ pain behavior and whether this is, in fact, the mechanism by which estrogen affects responses to pain.

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