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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.

Men Suffer Too!

  • Dec 26, 2013

TMJ disorders most often affect women in their childbearing years, however it is important that we not forget about the men who suffer as well.  We’d like to share thoughts from David, a fellow TMJ patient.  

To give you some background on my condition:  I have TMJ in both sides of my jaw, but my left is worse than my right.  There are days when they both flare, and I’m done on those days.  Most of the time it’s my left, which I’ve learned how to adapt to, but when it’s the right, days are not as easy.  I get migraine headaches, and a lot of head and facial pain that isn’t a direct result of my condition.  I manage my pain to the best of my ability using things like Zomig, ibuprophen, Excedrin, herbal muscle relaxants, ice, etc., but all of the medications I’m taking are also contributing to other medical issues. Without them, though, bad days are numerous. 

 Men are not allowed to show pain, or if they do, they are not allowed to complain about it.  Try going to a job and telling them you’re having a bad pain day and see what they say.  I’ve had too many times in my life where I’ve let an employer know that I’m having a bad day, even after making American Disabilities Act (ADA) arrangements with them, and I’ve been told that I just need to get over it, or the like.  Women tend to just pull out the baby card:  I’ve gone through labor so just shut up and deal with it; men generally don’t want to see weakness, it calls into question your toughness, or ability to just do what you need to do.  These attitudes permeate our entire society, at the individual and organizational level.  We want to assume that ADA has done a lot to help people with disabilities, but I argue that we have a long way to go.  We need change in how the ADA is managed and enforced at the individual and organizational levels.

There is an overall attitude that hidden disabilities means that you’re not disabled at all.  You have no idea how many times I’ve been told I’m not disabled, but those people who haven’t lived MY life have no idea just how disabled I can be.  I don’t have disabling pain every day, but I do have pain:  some days are better than others.  Those days that I feel less pain I work hard to make up for time I feel more.  People tend to see those days, and not be anywhere nearby, when I have bad pain days.  Life has been very lonely as a result because ultimately nobody thinks I’m disabled, or nobody wants to support me when I am.

I don’t want people to think I’m weak, or the like, because of my disability.  I don’t want them to think I’m seeking sympathy or having my hand out.  Again, this is another attitude that seems to permeate our society.  A man with pain, or any hidden disability, tends to be seen as someone wanting to get out of something or other.  It’s not.  I’m just not capable of doing things when I’m in pain.  I’ve reached a point in my life where I just don’t care what others think, though.  It would just be a pleasant change if people actually believed me once in a while.

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