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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.

Excerpts from the Preface of the IOM Pain Report

  • Oct 26, 2016

Because the Preface of the IOM report, Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Tranforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research,  is such an eloquent statement of the issues and experiences of the Committee Chair and Vice-Chair, as well as their vision for the future, we are providing the following excerpts:

“Protection from and relief of pain and suffering are a fundamental feature of the human contract we make as parents, partners, children, family, friends, and community members, as well as a cardinal underpinning of the art and science of healing. Pain is part of the human condition; at some point, for short or long periods of time, we all experience pain and suffer its consequences. While pain can serve as a warning to protect us from further harm, it also can contribute to severe and even relentless suffering, surpassing its underlying causes to become a disease in its own domains and dimensions. We all may share common accountings of pain, but in reality, our experiences with pain are deeply personal, filtered through the lens of our unique biology, the society and community in which we were born and live, the personalities and styles of coping we have developed, and the manner in which our life journey has been enjoined with health and disease…”

“…While we came to this study with our own expectations, we have recognized as a consequence of our shared efforts that the magnitude of the pain suffered by individuals and the associated costs constitute a crisis for America, both human and economic. We recognize further that approaching pain at both the individual and the broader population levels will require a transformation in how Americans think and act individually and collectively regarding pain and suffering. We believe this transformation represents a moral and national imperative…”

“…The lack of a defined disease made the symptoms of pain and suffering less acceptable and more ascribed to overreaction, emotional instability, or worse. Because pain could not be seen or measured “objectively” or interpreted within the context of the known, it was more likely to be dismissed, diminished, or avoided. The irony is that this pain and suffering, just like that of the patient with a known disease, could be life dominant−a disease in its own right…”

“…Unfortunately, many health care providers lack a comprehensive perspective on pain and not infrequently interpret the suffering of others through their own personal lens. Misjudgment or failure to understand the nature and depths of pain can be associated with serious consequences−more pain and more suffering−for individuals and our society…”

“Our committee recognizes the need for a transformed understanding of pain. We believe pain arises in the nervous system but represents a complex and evolving interplay of biology, behavioral, environment, and societal factors that go beyond the simple explanation. Knowledge of pain needs to be enriched from the molecular and genetic to the cellular, neural network, and systems levels. It is necessary to understand how the settings and surrounds in which pain occurs and is experienced have an impact on its biology. The committee recognizes the need for new tools and metrics with which to define, diagnose, and monitor pain, and its consequences, as well as for new approaches to treatment and prevention that are likely to result from novel and more interdisciplinary approaches to research. We see a need for better ways to develop, evaluate, and make available new approaches to pain management more rapidly and expeditiously. We also see the importance of approaching the individual within the broader domain of cultural diversity and of recognizing the subpopulations that are most affected by chronic pain and develop strategies to address their needs. We believe it is necessary to understand better the link between acute and chronic pain and find ways to break that link. We recognize the need to develop ever more informed health care professionals, working individually and in teams, in rural and urban settings, to address pain in the communities they serve. We believe it is necessary to understand better the true impact of pain on the workforce, our families, and the broader population and seek ways to lessen that impact. Meeting these challenges will require a cultural transformation in the way pain is perceived and managed on both the personal and societal levels…It is our hope that this report will help stimulate a concerted response to this crisis.”

Philip A. Pizzo, Chair
Noreen M. Clark, Vice Chair
Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Education

TMJ Disorders

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