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Educational Brochures on Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions

This brochure addresses what are Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPCs), how COPCs are diagnosed, the complexity of the chronic pain experience, and how to work with your health care provider to develop a treatment plan. It is available by postal ma

Study Highlights TMD Evidence and Current Practice Gaps

The TMJ Association has long championed the need for strong evidence-based demonstrations of the safety and efficacy of TMD diagnostics and treatments. Sad to say, as the following journal article indicates, even among a network of research-oriented practices, dental providers are still resorting to such TMD treatments as occlusal adjustments in which teeth are irreversibly moved, ground down, or in other ways altered, a treatment for which there is no scientific evidence of efficacy.

Beware of Ticks and Lyme Disease

We are currently in the peak season for Lyme disease. Each year at this time we highlight this topic because we have heard from a number of patients over the years who were misdiagnosed and underwent unnecessary TMD treatments when they actually had Lyme

#*!"@!**! ... May Help Your Pain... and Improve Strength!

Our headline is adopting the comic strip convention of using symbols to denote swear words because we are intrigued by a report that swearing may have some health benefits.

Predictors of Opioid Efficacy for Chronic Pain Patients

Opioids are increasingly used for treatment of chronic pain. However, they are only effective in a subset of patients and have multiple side effects. Thus, studies using biomarkers for response are highly warranted.

Painful Temporomandibular Disorder: Decade of Discovery from OPPERA Studies

  • Sep 21, 2016

Slade GD, Ohrbach R, Greenspan JD, Fillingim RB, Bair E, Sanders AE, Dubner R, Diatchenko L, Meloto CB, Smith S, Maixner W., Painful Temporomandibular Disorder: Decade of Discovery from OPPERA Studies, J Dent Res. 2016 Sep;95(10):1084-92. doi: 10.1177/0022034516653743. Epub 2016 Jun 23.

In 2006, the OPPERA project (Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment) set out to identify risk factors for development of painful temporomandibular disorder (TMD). A decade later, this review summarizes its key findings. At 4 US study sites, OPPERA recruited and examined 3,258 community-based TMD-free adults assessing genetic and phenotypic measures of biological, psychosocial, clinical, and health status characteristics. During follow-up, 4% of participants per annum developed clinically verified TMD, although that was a "symptom iceberg" when compared with the 19% annual rate of facial pain symptoms. The most influential predictors of clinical TMD were simple checklists of comorbid health conditions and nonpainful orofacial symptoms. Self-reports of jaw parafunction were markedly stronger predictors than corresponding examiner assessments. The strongest psychosocial predictor was frequency of somatic symptoms, although not somatic reactivity. Pressure pain thresholds measured at cranial sites only weakly predicted incident TMD yet were strongly associated with chronic TMD, cross-sectionally, in OPPERA's separate case-control study. The puzzle was resolved in OPPERA's nested case-control study where repeated measures of pressure pain thresholds revealed fluctuation that coincided with TMD's onset, persistence, and recovery but did not predict its incidence. The nested case-control study likewise furnished novel evidence that deteriorating sleep quality predicted TMD incidence. Three hundred genes were investigated, implicating 6 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as risk factors for chronic TMD, while another 6 SNPs were associated with intermediate phenotypes for TMD. One study identified a serotonergic pathway in which multiple SNPs influenced risk of chronic TMD. Two other studies investigating gene-environment interactions found that effects of stress on pain were modified by variation in the gene encoding catechol O-methyltransferase. Lessons learned from OPPERA have verified some implicated risk factors for TMD and refuted others, redirecting our thinking. Now it is time to apply those lessons to studies investigating treatment and prevention of TMD.  

The full article is available at: http://jdr.sagepub.com/content/95/10/1084.full.pdf+html.  

TMJ Disorders

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