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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.

TMJ News Bites, April/May 2015

  • May 24, 2015







April/May 2015  

 Volume 7, Issue 3  






A Clinically Relevant Animal Model of Temporomandibular Disorder and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The authors, from University of Maryland's Schools of Dentistry and of Nursing, begin their article noting, "In general, women are more sensitive to pain than men, and a greater number of chronic pain syndromes are more prevalent in women, including irritable bowel syndrome [IBS] and temporomandibular disorder [TMD]." They comment that both these conditions occur primarily in premenopausal women with symptoms that fluctuate across the menstrual cycle, and that patients with IBS frequently report symptoms of TMD, while TMD patients frequently report IBS, chronic pelvic pain or fibromyalgia. Also noted is that the pain of IBS and TMD can be associated with or exacerbated by stress.


To facilitate research to understand these conditions and why they often overlap the researchers have developed a rat model. The model itself is complex. It involves first removing the ovaries of female rats. The estrogen normally produced by the ovaries was later replaced by injections of estradiol, a potent estrogen, at four-day intervals. This was done to simulate the normal rise and fall in levels of the hormone, which is associated with fluctuations in the level of pain female patients experience over the menstrual cycle. Following ovariectomy, an injury was made to a chewing muscle in the rats to simulate TMD, and the animals were exposed to stress in the form of a "forced swim" test. In this test, the animals are placed in a water tank for a length of time in which it must swim to stay afloat. Using this model, the investigators were able to show that the rats exhibited chronic visceral hypersensitivity, including chronic abdominal pain -- a defining symptom of IBS -- which persisted in the animals for months. Further, they were able to demonstrate that estradiol was necessary for the transition from acute to chronic hypersensitivity. Animals subjected to muscle injury and the forced swim but not injected with estradiol exhibited visceral hypersensitivity, but the effect was only transient, returning to normal levels over time. Other tests conducted with the model are consistent with the concept that in the transition from acute to chronic pain, the central nervous system undergoes central sensitization, a process by which the response of pain-activated cells is magnified and prolonged. The investigators conclude with the hope that their model will further progress in understanding overlapping pain conditions.



Traub RJ Cao D-Y, Karpowicz J, Sangeeta P, Ji Y, Dorsey SG, Dessem D: A clinically relevant animal model of temporomandibular disorder and irritable bowel syndrome comorbidity. J Pain 15:956-966 2014.  




Act Now to Support First National Strategic Plan for Pain!

We are at a crucial time in history for people with pain. The very first national strategic plan to advance pain research, education and treatment --The National Pain Strategy (NPS)--has been released for public comment for a short period of time.  


We need your voice NOW to make sure that the NPS is changed from words on a page to a reality for the millions of Americans who urgently need improved pain care!   See the press release announcing that The TMJ Association has been working collaboratively with 16 other organizations as part of the  Consumer Pain Advocacy Task Force specifically for this purpose. 


The next step in this process is to urge the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to begin the important process of designating funding for NPS and developing a federal oversight body, so that HHS can quickly begin putting the Plan into action as soon as it is finalized and released!


Please take 5 minutes to help by sending a letter to HHS--we've done most of the work for you!  


A sample letter has been prepared that you can personalize and send automatically through this online system. All you have to do is enter your contact information and click "SUBMIT". If you choose, you can also add a sentence or two about yourself so that your letter is not the same as everyone else's. (Alternately, you can copy/paste the letter template below into your own email and send to HHS ( or address listed below for U.S. mail).  


Please take action now to influence the NPS. This is a big deal for people affected by pain so please let us know if you send a letter and we'll keep you posted on the progress. 



Request for Information on NIH Neuroscience Blueprint

The National Institutes of Health Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (Blueprint) is a collaboration among 15 participating NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices that support research on the nervous system. The Blueprint's goal is to accelerate discovery in neuroscience research, and this Request for Information (RFI) seeks input from the scientific community on how the Blueprint might best do so in the future. Responses to this RFI should suggest how future Blueprint investments can have broad impact in neuroscience and serve the interests of more than one of the Blueprint Institutes participating.  


The Blueprint invites input from stakeholders including but not limited to researchers in academia and industry, healthcare professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific and professional organizations, Federal agencies and other interested members of the public. Organizations are encouraged to submit a single response that reflects the views of the organization as a whole. More information available at:   



New NIH Funding Opportunities

MAPP Network Basic/Translational Science  

The OPPERA study has demonstrated that pelvic pain is moderately associated with TMD. Given this relationship we are publicizing this research opportunity.  


The Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain (MAPP) Research Network, supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH), invites research grant applications to conduct fundamental basic and translational research focused on urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome.


The NIDDK has allocated up to $2 million to solicit basic and translational studies from investigators NEW to the MAPP Network that will be conducted in collaboration with the existing MAPP Network and in support of the Network's goals of informing future clinical investigations and ultimately improving clinical management of urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome patients.


Applications may request up to $500,000 and will be supported through sub-contracts to the MAPP Network's Data Coordination Core (DCC) at the University of Pennsylvania. The application receipt date is June 15, 2015. For additional information see the MAPP Network website (    


Immune System Plasticity in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Complex Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Diseases

Its purpose is to expand contemporary, systematic research approaches to elucidate the role of immune system plasticity in health and in the pathogenesis of dental, oral, and craniofacial (DOC) diseases. The goal is to advance knowledge of the immunological basis of dental, oral, and craniofacial diseases, and to develop tools and technologies for precise modulation of the immune system to restore or maintain health. The expectation is that new knowledge derived from this research will facilitate development of novel immunomodulatory therapies to prevent disease onset or reverse disease progression.


In orofacial pain, peripheral tissue damage or nerve injury stimulates local and systemic immune responses interfacing with the central nervous system (CNS), and this process is likely to be involved in the transition of acute to chronic pain as well as in the persistence of chronic pain  


This program announcement is issued as a companion set: please see PAR-15-192 for the R01 and PAR-15-193 for the R21 activity codes. The first due dates are in October 2015.




Additional NIH Funding Opportunities 

The following are previously announced NIH funding opportunities. 


NIAMS Musculoskeletal Biology and Medicine Resource-based Centers


Exploratory Technologies to Understand the Control of Organ Function by the Peripheral Nervous System for SPARC (U18)  

Biology of the Temporomandibular Joint in Health and Disease (R01) 


Biology of the Temporomandibular Joint in Health and Disease (R21)     


Pharmacogenomics of Orofacial Pain Management (RO1)      


Research on Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (R01)   


Research on Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (R21)

Building Genetics and Genomic Knowledge about Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Diseases and Disorders (R01) 


Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (BPN): Small Molecule Drug Discovery and Development for Disorders of the Nervous System (UH2/UH3)

Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (BPN): Small Molecule Drug Discovery and Development for Disorders of the Nervous System (U44) 





Patient Spotlight:  Marianne

There is a saying "A picture is worth a thousand words". This month we feature artwork by a TMD patient, Marianne of Senja, Norway.  


"I made the picture to illustrate for my friends and family how painful it is because it doesn't show on the outside how it feels inside. And it feels good to know that so many people recognize themselves in my picture because for years I was told it was just anxiety and all in my head. Literally they were right about the last part. The pain is in my head area, but it's not an imaginary pain." Marianne






How Pain Affects Women  

"On January 29, 2015, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) hosted a TwitterChat on how pain affects women and how it can be treated. Anita Gupta, DO, PharmD, answered on behalf of ASA, Roger B. Fillingim, PhD, answered on behalf of the American Pain Society, Beth Darnall, PhD, answered on behalf of the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab, and Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, represented both the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab and the American Academy of Pain Medicine in his responses."  Click here to read highlights from this event.



Free Educational Brochure: A Resource Guide for Temporomandibular Disorders 

This brochure is a straightforward, easy-to-read guide for patients making health care decisions. The brochure is available by mail  or as a PDF on our website. We encourage you to share this brochure with your friends, health care professionals, and family.



New Free TMD Nutritional Guide Booklet 

TMD Nutrition and You, a nutritional guide booklet, is specifically aimed at people with compromised oral function to help them maintain a healthy diet in spite of their oral disability. Click here to download a free copy of our booklet or e-mail us with your name and mailing address to receive a hard copy by mail.



Free Pain Resource Booklet  

The Handbook for People with Pain: A Resource Guide, 5th edition is now available. This resource will help you on your day-to-day journey as you face challenges so often encountered by those who suffer from pain. This resource will provide you with a variety of information, ideas, and tools. Click here to learn more. 



Upcoming NIDCR Council Meeting 

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) will hold the 209th meeting of the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council on Wednesday, May 20th, 2015. Click here to view the agenda. A live videocast of the morning open session is available for remote access at:






Please consider contributing to The TMJ Association. We offer a number of ways you can do this. If you are already a member of the TMJA family, you have our heartfelt thanks. We invite everyone to join us in changing the face of TMJ.


General Donation

Donate online via our donation service, GiveDirect, Paypal, or by check.


Other Ways to Donate Online   


If you purchase items from Amazon, you can now help raise money for The TMJ Association with every purchase.  Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to The TMJ Association. It's like regular Amazon, but with the wonderful bonus of helping to raise money for our mission.



With over 700 stores in the iGive Mall, access to hundreds of exclusive coupons, free shipping deals and sales, iGive is the smart way to shop. Up to 26% of each purchase benefits The TMJ Association at no cost to you! Join iGive at  


eBay Giving Works

Buy and sell on eBay Giving Works to support The TMJ Association. As a seller, you can opt for a portion of your sale to be donated to The TMJ Association. As buyers, you can look for items that support a great cause!  Click here to shop or sell on eBay to support The TMJ Association. 


Donate By Searching! What Could Be Easier?

Use for your next Internet search and enter TMJ Association under "Who Do You GoodSearch For?" Every time you use GoodSearch money is generated for The TMJ Association. Every completed search raises approximately $0.01 for us! And since GoodSearch is powered by Yahoo, you will get proven, high-quality search results.


Donate Your Vehicle

The TMJA participates in the vehicle donation program for nonprofits. Click here to learn more.




The TMJ Association is the only patient advocacy organization fighting for the best science that will lead to greater understanding of Temporomandibular and related disorders and safe and effective treatments. We need YOUR help in these efforts. Yes, I want to help change the face of TMJ with my donation!

"The TMJA is a great organization. I am impressed by your objectivity and transparency. Thank you for your hard work."  -  Lisa, Hummelstown, PA









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