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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 Alert - Talk the Talk

  • Dec 21, 2017

Concerned by the decade long lack of scientific evidence last July, The TMJ Association asked the FDA to analyze all the Medwatch reports they received on TMJ total joint devices. They did and found that 52% of TMJ devices had to be explanted within the first three years because of severe pain and other problems. This continues a sordid history beginning with the Silastic and Vitek implants which have caused irreparable harm to TMJ patients.

There are those whose lives have been improved for a time by TMJ implants, but without the bioengineering, basic and clinical studies needed about these implants, the FDA and the patients, will continue to not know who will have a positive outcome, who won’t and why and if there are device issues causing problems. The FDA needs to have this information in order to make decisions that will fulfill their mission – to protect the health of the American people and we need to have this information so that we can make informed health care decisions. In this absence, this is still TMJ lotto.

Right now, there are some members of the U.S. Senate that believe their obligation is to protect the profitability of the medical device industry and are devising ways to lessen the Food and Drug Administration’s regulations – regulations that are already inadequate to protect the public as is demonstrated by the multitude of people that have received not only TMJ devices that caused harm.

The Medical Device Regulatory Improvement Act, which was introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Burr (R-NC) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) that would change the FDA's device approval process. We provide the link to the entire bill for your reading. Items that we especially feel should be addressed are:

  • allowing experts with financial ties to drug or device manufacturers to serve on FDA advisory panels as long as they meet certain disclosure requirements
  • restricting the FDA's ability to request more data about the product 
  • restricting the FDA's ability to evaluate off-label uses for the device 
  • considering alternative methods of evaluating safety and effectiveness of devices in order to reduce approval time frames and costs, and to consider whether pre-clinical rather than clinical data can be used to determine approval of some devices

I recently discussed this legislation with Marsha Love, a TMJ Silastic implant patient who is in need of a total joint device. Within hours and without my asking she e-mailed a letter to me for my opinion – a letter she intended to send to these Senators. I thought the letter was so “from the heart” and reflective of so many implant patient's sentiments that I asked if we could use it as a sample letter for others to tailor their letter upon.

Whether you are in need of a TMJ device now, may need one in the future, or simply care about those who do, why not take the time to speak up and let elected officials know that talking is a gift that many TMJ patients no longer have.

We are providing a list of the Senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee who will be deciding this issue. Also listed below are the names of FDA officials. Send them a letter with your story and concerns.

Sincerely,

Terrie Cowley

President & Co-Founder


FDA Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner, FDA

Jeffery Shuren, Director, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA

Mailing Address: FDA, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993

Introduced Legislation

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

HELP Committee Members

Democrats by Rank

  • Tom Harkin (IA)
  • Barbara A. Mikulski (MD)
  • Jeff Bingaman (NM)
  • Patty Murray (WA)
  • Bernard Sanders (I) (VT)
  • Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA)
  • Kay R. Hagan (NC)
  • Jeff Merkley (OR)
  • Al Franken (MN)
  • Michael F. Bennet (CO)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
  • Richard Blumenthal (CT)

Republicans by Rank

  • Michael B. Enzi (WY)
  • Lamar Alexander (TN)
  • Richard Burr (NC)
  • Johnny Isakson (GA)
  • Rand Paul (KY)
  • Orrin G. Hatch (UT)
  • John McCain (AZ)
  • Pat Roberts (KS)
  • Lisa Murkowski (AK)
  • Mark Kirk (IL)
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.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Office of Research on Women's Health