Read the Latest News

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, July 2015

  • Oct 27, 2016


July 2015

Volume 5, Issue 7


We hope you are enjoying the summer.  This month we ask for your help in completing our annual survey as we plan the TMJA's 2014 activities.   In Scientific News we report on exciting research being done at Duke University that may lead to potential new drug targets for TMD.  Body posture, dental occlusion, and TMD had been thought to be connected; now we bring you the latest research on this topic.  NSAIDs are the most common medication prescribed by doctors for chronic pain, but you need to be aware of the risks of taking these medications on a regular basis.  This month we Iraida tells us of her struggle with TMJ implant devices and her words of wisdom for patients.  Additionally, we report the results of our TMD/Celiac disease poll as well as a number of ways you can help spread awareness of TMD among your family, friends, and the public. 





Your Opinions and Concerns Are Important to the TMJA

Each year we ask you to tell us what is on your mind regarding Temporomandibular Disorders and The TMJ Association's activities.  This year your participation is exceptionally important, because in the coming months we will be meeting to discuss how we can best address your concerns. Your voice is vital to this planning process. Click  here to take the survey and let your voice be heard.


The August 2013 cover of Pain features the research of the  Liedtke-Lab at Duke University, Durham, NC



When It Hurts to Chew

As many TMD patients know, it often hurts to bite down hard on foods, so they resort to a soft diet and less strenuous muscle forces when their TMD pain kicks in.  Now, a team of investigators led by Dr. Wolfgang Liedtke at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC have taken advantage of that observation to detail changes in the brain that can account for that reduced biting force.


Using a mouse model, they injected a chemical compound into the TM joint that is well known to generate joint inflammation and associated pain.  As controls, another group of mice was injected with a control compound. Dr. Liedtke suspected that a protein, TRPV4, found on the surface of sensory nerve cells in the trigeminal ganglion of the brain (which supplies the TM joint) might be critical. He had discovered the protein in the year 2000 and noted its involvement in response to mechanical stimulation and also in response to pain and inflammation.


TRPV4 is an ion channel, which, when activated, allows calcium to enter a nerve cell, exciting it to fire an electric charge. It turns out that in response to joint inflammation and pain, not only was there increased expression of the TRPV4 ion channels on sensory neurons in the brain in parallel with the severity of inflammation and pain, but when the mice were tested using a bite force measuring apparatus, they showed a reduction in bite force in comparison with controls.


In contrast, when the mice were injected with an agent that blocked TRPV4 ion channels, the biting forces returned to more normal levels.  As a further test of the key role of the TRPV4 channel, the Duke team tested mice genetically engineered to lack the gene (called TRPV4) that codes for the protein. These mice also were resistant to the effects of TM inflammation on bite force. The researchers also determined that the presence of TRPV4 had the effect of re-programming the trigeminal ganglion to be more “pro-pain” and also acted as a “switch-on”mechanism in pain-sensing neurons in the ganglion.  


The bottom line is that the TRPV4 protein appears to be an attractive target for the development of new drugs to treat TMD.


Source: Chen Y, Williams SH, McNulty AL, Hong JH, Lee SH, Rothfusz NE, Parekh PK, Moore C, Gereau RW 4th, Taylor AB, Wang F, Guilak F, Liedtke W., Temporomandibular joint pain: A critical role for TRPV4 in the trigeminal ganglion, Pain.2013 Aug;154(8):1295-304.


No Connection: TMD, Body Posture & Dental Occlusion

Patients should be cautious when considering TMD treatments that claim to provide relief by correcting occlusal and postural abnormalities. Not only can these treatments be extensive and expensive,  but, more importantly, scientific literature does not support them. Instead, the literature concludes that a mechanical approach to treating TMD by means of irreversible methods such as occlusal adjustments, full mouth dental reconstructions, or orthodontics is not justified from a scientific viewpoint.  Here are the latest studies regarding this topic:

  • Marini, I., Gatto, M. R., Bartolucci, M. L., Bortolotti, F., Alessandri Bonetti, G. and Michelotti, A. (2013), Effects of experimental occlusal interference on body posture: an optoelectronic stereophotogrammetric analysis. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 40: 509–518. doi: 10.1111/joor.12064. 
  • Manfredini, D., Castroflorio, T., Perinetti, G. and Guarda-Nardini, L. (2012), Dental occlusion, body posture and temporomandibular disorders: where we are now and where we are heading for. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 39: 463–471. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2012.02291.x


NSAIDs Often Prescribed by Physcians

A recent research study by the University Of Missouri Kansas City School Of Pharmacy, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City and University Health System, San Antonio, found Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to be the most common treatment prescribed to treat chronic pain.  

In our June issue of TMJ News Bites we told you about the  findings from another study that linked high dosages of NSAIDs to increased risks for heart failure, kidney and liver damage, and high blood pressure. Because of these risks, as well as the high prevalence of physicians prescribing these medications to TMD patients to help relieve pain, it's important that you use NSAIDs while under a medical doctor's supervision. Aspirin, naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are examples of over-the-counter NSAIDs.





Iraida's TMD Story 

I underwent bilateral TMJ implant surgery in 2009, hoping to get relief from severe pain. Following the operation, my struggle became more than just coping with the daily pain, but was made worse by the lack of compassion and understanding from health care professionals. Instead of lending an ear to my struggles, my complaints were (and are) ignored. Seeking to alleviate the pain from the first implant surgery, I underwent a second surgery to replace one of the implants, but, damage to the trigeminal nerve had already been done. As a result, I became a trigeminal neuralgia (TN) patient. In short, I sought help for TMJ pain, underwent multiple surgeries, and ended up with permanent nerve damage and constant excruciating pain How did this happen?  This is my story. Click here to read more.


Here's What You Had to Say Regarding Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

In our last issue of TMJ News Bites, we told you that we have heard from a number of TMD patients that they had been diagnosed with Celiac disease and are sensitive to gluten products.  In response, we asked you to take part in our survey.  Click here to view the results. Thanks again to all of you who took time to participate!






Do you need a new beach cover-up?  Do you have a child or pet in your life who could use some TMJ gear?  Does your car need a new bumper sticker?  Visit our online TMJA store for some great TMJ aWEARness items.  Help spread TMJ aWEARness and support the TMJA with your purchase. 


TMJA Needs Your Support

We rely on YOU, our supporters, for your financial contributions to help sustain our advocacy efforts.   Please help with your donation today! The TMJA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of health care and the lives of everyone affected by Temporomandibular disorders.


Free Educational Brochure: A Resource Guide for Temporomandibular Disorders

This brochure is a straightforward, easy-to-read guide for patients to help them with their health care decisions. The printed brochure is available from the TMJA by mail or PDF from our website.  We encourage you to share this brochure with your friends, health care professionals, and family.

This newsletter was funded through a restricted educational grant from Purdue Pharma L.P. The content is solely the responsibility of The TMJ Association, Ltd. and does not necessarily represent the official views of Purdue Pharma L.P.

13625 Bishop's Dr. | Brookfield, WI 53005 US


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