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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.

Study Highlights TMD Evidence and Current Practice Gaps

  • May 31, 2017

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.

Dentist Practice Patterns and Therapeutic Confidence in the Treatment of Pain Related to Temporomandibular Disorders in a Dental Practice-Based Research Network.

Kakudate N, Yokoyama Y, Sumida F, Matsumoto Y, Gordan VV, Gilbert GH, Velly AM, Schiffman EL. 

J Oral Facial Pain Headache. 2017 Spring;31(2):152-158. doi: 10.11607/ofph.1730.

 

Abstract


Aims

To quantify the practice patterns of Japanese dentists in the management of pain related to temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and to identify specific characteristics that are significantly associated with the decision to perform occlusal adjustment for TMD-related pain.


Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted consisting of a questionnaire survey of dentists affiliated with the Dental Practice-Based Research Network Japan (JDPBRN) (n = 148). Participants were asked how they diagnosed and treated TMD-related pain. Associations between dentist characteristics and the decision to perform occlusal adjustment were analyzed via multiple logistic regression.


Results

A total of 113 clinicians responded to the questionnaire (76% response rate), and 81% of them (n = 89) had treated TMD during the previous year. Dentists treated an average of 1.9 ± 1.8 (mean ± SD) patients with TMD-related pain per month. Most JDPBRN dentists used similar diagnostic protocols, including questions and examinations. The most frequent treatments were splints or mouthguards (96.5%), medications (84.7%), and self-care (69.4%). Occlusal adjustment for TMD-related pain was performed by 58% of the participants. Multiple logistic regression analysis identified two factors significantly associated with the decision to perform occlusal adjustment: dentist lack of confidence in curing TMD-related acute pain (odds ratio [OR] 5.60; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.260 to 24.861) and proportion of patients with severe TMD-related pain (OR 0.95; 95% CI 0.909 to 0.999).


Conclusion

The most common treatments for TMD-related pain were reversible treatments; however, over half of the dentists performed occlusal adjustment for TMD-related pain. The results of this study suggest that an evidence-practice gap exists for occlusal adjustment for TMD-related pain.

TMJ Disorders

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

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