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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.

Some TMJ Patients Like it Hot

  • Nov 18, 2015

In a survey the TMJA conducted of TMD patients and published in the Clinical Journal of Pain, found the most frequently used intervention (65% of respondents) was thermal therapy (hot or cold compresses) to the jaw; these were also found by 74% of the respondents to result in a reduction of symptoms.

Now some investigators in Brazil* decided to search the literature and see if there were any scientific studies to back up that claim. They used PubMed, Web of Science and other standard references for articles in English, Spanish and Portuguese and found 211 studies published between 1980 and 2013 that mentioned external heat therapy for TMD. Unfortunately, most did not provide the details they were looking for-how and where the heat was supplied, for how long, at what temperature, how frequently, and what were the benefits, if any? In the end they found 13 studies that met their criteria, but caution that most of the studies used additional therapies, such as occlusal splints along with heat, and that the patient populations and methodologies varied.
Nevertheless, they were able to conclude from the 13 studies that moist heat applied to the jaw or neck area at least once a day for periods averaging around 20 minutes helped to relieve pain, which they found to be the primary benefit. Heat also helped reduce muscle tension, improve jaw function, and increase mouth opening. The reasons? The application of heat increases blood flow and hence oxygenation of the tissue. The increased oxygenation helps remove metabolic waste products from muscle--a cause of pain and spasm. Heat also enables the collagen to stretch, reducing muscle tension and allowing an increased mouth opening. Moist heat is preferable to dry heat because the energy of a heated liquid (the water) is transferred more rapidly than from a dry source. As for the temperature, the authors again caution: It is likely that TMD patients are sensitive to heat so should keep the heat source within tolerable limits. In addition, heat treatment should be avoided in cases of inflammation or trauma.
*Reference: FURLAN, Renata Maria Moreira Moraes; GIOVANARDI, Raquel Safar; BRITTO, Ana Teresa Brandão de Oliveira e  and  BRITTO, Denise Brandão de Oliveira e. The use of superficial heat for treatment of temporomandibular disorders: an integrative review. CoDAS [online]. 2015, vol.27, n.2, pp. 207-212. ISSN 2317-1782.
TMJ Disorders


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