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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 Advocacy

  • Nov 3, 2016

This is the 20th consecutive year that The TMJ Association advocacy efforts have resulted in report language. Report language tells agencies of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that elected officials are concerned about specific issues. This directive has a powerful influence on the decisions made by the government agencies. We've established personal contacts with staff and elected officials, and have garnered their support by reporting regularly on TMD research, as well as letting them know what we, the patients, need. The U.S. Congress remains vigilant to the needs of the TMD patients as well as to the progress the NIH has and continues to make on their behalf.

We want the best science this country has to offer for these devastating conditions and we are fortunate to have the support of members of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Services Appropriations Subcommittee, responsible for funding the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This support deserves our thanks; take a moment to send a note of appreciation to the members of the committee.


National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Temporomandibular Disorders [TMD].—The Committee appreciates the advances that have been made as a result of NIDCR funding of research on TMD pain and urges the Institute to continue to lead this effort. Major findings that have emerged confirm that TMD is one of several chronic pain conditions co-occurring in some patients at odds greater than chance. The Committee strongly urges NIDCR to collaborate with other ICs to address these comorbid conditions. The Committee commends the Institute for working with NIAMS and NIBIB to organize the Temporomandibular Joint Working Group, which is charged with assessing the state of the science on the temporomandibular joint.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Temporomandibular Disorders [TMD].—Many people who have TMD suffer from conditions that routinely affect other joints in the body, such as trauma, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. However, researchers investigating other joints too often ignore TMD because they consider temporomandibular joints to be a subject for dental researchers only. The Committee notes that the Temporomandibular Joint Working Group has improved collaborations among ICs that should have a role in TMD research but believes that NIAMS, as well as NIBIB, should participate more fully, so that NIDCR is not expected to carry the workload alone.

What is the NIH? Why is it Important to TMJ Patients?

The NIH, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency that conducts and supports medical research. With the support of the American people, the NIH annually invests over $30 billion in medical research. The NIH is comprised of 27 Institutes and Centers. It provides leadership and financial support to researchers in every state, and throughout the world. Helping to lead the way toward important medical discoveries that improve people’s health and save lives, NIH scientists investigate ways to prevent disease, work to determine causes, and establish treatments, and even cures for common and rare diseases. One of those 27 components is the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), which supports the bulk of research on TMD. Because of the complexities of TMD, an increasing number of agencies of the NIH are recognizing that they have a significant role in solving the puzzle of TMD.

TMJ Disorders


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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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