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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, October 2015

  • Nov 3, 2016

October 2015
Volume 7, Issue 8 
The Fall Giving Season Is Upon Us 
autumn_leaves_rustle.jpg If you are a government employee who understands the full impact of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) on individuals, their loved ones and society-at-large, please help us to continue to change the face of TMJ by designating The TMJ Association as your Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity #12102.
Also, please share this information with your mail carrier, family members or friends serving in the military, who may be pleased to have the opportunity to support your charity.
State employees in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin can also contribute through the State Employee Contribution Campaign by writing in The TMJ Association on the donor form.
United Way and other nonprofit corporate donor programs are a great way to show your support and will soon be underway. Simply write The TMJ Association on your donor form.
If you don't participate in any of these campaigns, you can still help by donating directly to the TMJA! And, remember, 100% of your gift is tax-deductible. 
Some TMD Patients Like It Hot    
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.
New TM Joint Bone Formation Discoveries   
The following article is from Vital Record News from Texas A&M Health Science Center

Findings from researchers at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry could prove to upend previous dogma on bone formation in the temporomandibular joint.

The current school of thought on bone formation in the mandibular condyle, the rounded knob where the mandible and upper jaw meet, is that cartilage cells - called chondrocytes - must form and then experience cell death before bone cells can form. Findings from the lab of Jerry Feng, Ph.D., M.S., professor in the department of biomedical sciences at TAMBCD, show this may not be the case. Bone marrow cells may not be the only ones that build bone.
"The chondrocytes do not die. They transform into bone," says Feng. "This is the most exciting part. That's a big switch. People in this field never thought about such a mechanism."
The research stands to impact the knowledge base regarding how the temporomandibular joint grows and develops. In turn, this new information could change approaches to treating malocclusions and even have an impact on new therapies for injuries to cartilage, which, unlike bone, cannot repair itself.  Click here to read full article. 
Patient Perspectives on Pain Research   
The Chronic Pain Research Alliance (CPRA), an initiative of TMJ Association, in collaboration with the U.S. Pain Foundation and the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association, recently conducted a survey to assess how those living with chronic pain disorders, including temporomandibular disorders, feel about current pain research efforts. The CPRA is using the results of the survey, which are summarized in this article, in its advocacy work to advance pain research efforts for those with multiple pain conditions.
Fifteen hundred people of all ages, the majority of whom were women between 35 and 65 years old, responded to the survey. Using the definition of chronic pain as pain experienced on at least half the days for six months or more, half of respondents reported their pain developing between the ages of 25 and 44. Nearly half also reported having chronic pain for 15 or more years. We invite you to visit our website to see the results of this survey.
TMJA's Advocacy Efforts Highlighted in Proto Magazine    
Christin Veasley, Director of The TMJ Association's Chronic Pain Research Alliance was recently interviewed by Proto Magazine for the article entitled "Politics of Pain".  The following is an excerpt from this article.
"We don't want this [National Pain Strategy] to be another federal report that gets published and shelved," says contributor Christin Veasley, co-founder of the Chronic Pain Research Alliance, one of the 16 organizations that comprise the Consumer Pain Advocacy Task Force. The coalition includes representatives of constituencies for particular kinds of pain--The TMJ Association and the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association--as well as other broader groups such as the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS). And while such wide-ranging support for a national policy on pain could ultimately help make it happen, it remains to be seen whether the broad cooperation that went into creating the draft report can be harnessed to put its recommendations into place.
PAIN IS ONE OF THE top reasons most people see their doctors. Lower back pain is the most prevalent, followed by severe headaches or migraine, and neck pain. Yet most physicians are poorly equipped to manage such problems, and a recent study of North American medical schools found that only four U.S. programs had required courses on pain. Pain research, too, has lagged... To read the full article, click here. 
NIH To Strengthen ME/CFS Research Efforts 
The National Institutes of Health has released an announcement that it will increase scientific research efforts for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). We share this information with the TMD community as ME/CFS is one of the chronic overlapping pain conditions (COPCs) comorbid with TMD. The TMJA's 2006 patient survey, published in the Clinical Journal of Pain, showed over 40% of TMD patients have ME/CFS.  
NIH Funding Opportunities 
The TMJ Association encourages basic and clinical research on TMJ disorders to provide a greater understanding and safer and more effective methods of diagnosis and treatment based on scientific evidence. We invite you to view a listing of the latest National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding opportunities for scientists interested in advancing TMJ research.

The following are the newest program announcements we've recently added to the listing:
  • Personalized Strategies to Manage Symptoms of Chronic Illness (R15)(PA-16-006)
    National Institute of Nursing Research
  • Personalized Strategies to Manage Symptoms of Chronic Illness (R01)(PA-16-007)
    National Institute of Nursing Research
  • Personalized Strategies to Manage Symptoms of Chronic Illness (R21)(PA-16-008)
    National Institute of Nursing Research
USBJI Career Development & Grant Mentoring Program: Call for Applications
The United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) and Bone and Joint Canada are dedicated to increasing research of musculoskeletal diseases. The USBJI has developed a grant mentoring program to provide early-career investigators an opportunity to work with experienced researchers in our field to assist them in securing funding and other survival skills required for pursuing an academic career.
This program is open to promising junior faculty, senior fellows or post-doctoral researchers nominated by their department or division chairs. It is also open to senior fellows or residents that are doing research and have a faculty appointment in place or confirmed. Basic and clinical investigators, without or with training awards (including K awards) are invited to apply. Investigators selected to take part in the program attend two workshops, 12-18 months apart, and work with faculty between workshops to develop their grant applications. The next workshop is scheduled to take place April 29-May 1, 2016 in Rosemont, IL (Chicago). The unique aspect of this program is the opportunity for attendees to maintain a relationship with a mentor until their application is funded. 
Deadline to apply for the Spring 2016 Workshop is January 15, 2016. To apply for this program, please go to their website,  
Free Educational Brochure: A Resource Guide for Temporomandibular Disorders 
This brochure is a straightforward, easy-to-read guide for patients making health care decisions. 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.
Free TMD Nutritional Guide  
TMD Nutrition and You, a nutritional guide, was specifically developed for those 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 email us with your name and mailing address to receive a hard copy by mail.

Did you know The TMJ Association is a recipient of the Independent Charities of America Seal of Excellence?  


The Seal is awarded to nonprofits that have been independently reviewed annually and certified to meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. Of the 1,000,000+ charities operating in the United States today fewer than 2,500 have been awarded this Seal.


Please support our mission with your donation today!

"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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In Treating TMJ

To view or order a free booklet about TMJ Disorders, visit the National Institutes of Health website.

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