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Grant Spurs Next Stage Testing of Tissue-Engineered Material for TMJ Disc Complex

A $6 million award from The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has been awarded to the University of California, Irvine (UCI) researchers for their late- stage preclinical project, “Treatment of the TMJ Disc Complex.” Leading the effort will be Kyriacos Athanasiou, PhD, PE, and his team at Driving Engineering & Life-science Translational Advances at Irvine (DELTAi) in collaboration with Cartilage Inc. Joining him on this project are Jerry Hu, PhD, Ryan Donahue, PhD, Wendy Brown, PhD, MRSc, and Kiley Athanasiou, MBA. Read more

Bringing Dental and Medical Students Together to Learn About TMD

On January 30, 2023, second-year dental students from Marquette University Dental School in Milwaukee joined first-year medical students from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in the first combined TMD educational session that was held at MCW. The session was designed as an interprofessional activity to increase understanding of TMD and the need for collaboration in providing clinical care. Read more

TMJ Device Causing Patient Harm

Dental patients complain of harm from an unproven dental device – Patients report irreparable harm by an unregulated dental device. An investigation by CBS News and Kaiser Health News found the device that allegedly left a trail of mangled mouths has not been reviewed by the FDA. Read more

TMJ Interprofessional Education & More

Last month we told you that dental schools were not required to teach students anything about TMJ until this year. But medical students are also limited in TMJ learning. Now we can report a project is underway to teach both dental and medical students about the jaw joint and Temporomandibular Disorders (TMDs), so they become better informed practitioners. This is significant because it makes clear that TMDs are not strictly a dental problem, but complex and multi-faceted. Read more

Disorders Common to TMJ Patients

Research spurred by the TMJ Association (TMJA) over the years has confirmed that a number of disorders often co-occur in TMJ patients, especially in patients in whom Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are chronic. Many of these disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia, are also painful, leading the Association to establish the Chronic Pain Research Alliance, an initiative to stimulate research on Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions.

But there are also disorders, not necessarily painful, that also occur more often in TMJ patients than chance would dictate. Ehlers Danlos Syndromes (EDS), affecting some 7 million in America are a case in point. Read more

NIH Pain Consortium Symposium

On June 1st – 2nd, the NIH Pain Consortium will convene the 17th Annual NIH Pain Consortium Symposium on Advances in Pain Research via a virtual platform. The symposium: “Pain Management Through the Lens of Whole Person Health,” will address the application of a “whole person” lens to pain conditions along the spectrum of translational science, from the biological basis to multicomponent interventions and treatment that will ultimately improve patient outcomes and pain management. Topics will include the consideration of pain conditions and models through the lens of whole person health, integrating data science and multi-modal approaches into analyses and treatments, and methods for engaging patients and other stakeholders in the whole person approach to pain management.  Click here for more information and to register.

Moving TMJ Research into the 21st Century – At Last!

On January 25, 2022, the 229th meeting of the NIDCR Council convened to review a series of “Concept Clearances,” research initiatives deemed to be of high priority to the Institute. One proposal was to establish a TMD Collaborative for Improving Patient-Centered Translational Research (TMD IMPACT).  Read full article.

The TMJ Association and IMD Health Global announce strategic partnership to provide credible disease information resources into the hands of care providers, their patients and family members

The TMJ Association is pleased to announce an important new partnership with IMD Health Global (IMD), a CloudMD Software & Services company focused on digital health education, which will help provide patients suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders with accessible, easily comprehensible resources via the IMD platform.  Learn more

FDA Patient Engagement Advisory Committee Meeting to Discuss Medical Device Recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing a virtual public meeting about Medical Device Recalls. During this meeting, the Patient Engagement Advisory Committee (the Committee) will discuss factors the FDA and industry should consider to effectively communicate medical device recall information to patients and the public, including but not limited to content, format, methods used to disseminate the message, and timing of communication. Read announcement.

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). Read the study which assessed the current state of TMD research, education and training, the safety and efficacy of clinical treatments, and associated burden and costs. Read full article.

Comparing the Success of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Campaigns with that of Other Diseases on GoFundMe®

Many patients with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) face financial loss and bankruptcy due to costs of healthcare and unpredictable insurance coverage for treatments. Successful crowdfunding campaigns may ease or eliminate the burden of cumulative, expensive medical bills for patients. Read more.

Have you seen the film Dark Waters?

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. Read more about PFOA, also known as C8, this man-made chemical used in the process of making Teflon and similar chemicals known as fluorotelomers. In the 1970s, Vitek Inc. created Teflon sheeting using DuPont’s Teflon FEP film, laminated to a porous composite material made from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). These implants, usually no larger than a thumbnail, were manufactured individually or custom cut from sheets in the operating room by the surgeon and then sutured to the TMJ fossa or condyle. Read full article.

Drug Induced Bruxism

Bruxism is defined as ‘a repetitive jaw-muscle activity characterized by clenching or grinding of the teeth, or bracing or thrusting of the mandible.’ Read more about Bruxism which occurs in adults and children, with a systematic review reporting an incidence of 18.6% in adults. Orofacial consequences include jaw-muscle hypertrophy, tooth wear and crack development, fractures of tooth restorations and pain associated with the teeth and surrounding musculature. Read full article.

Stabilization Splints May Worsen Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This article deals with the question of whether the  stabilization splint, which is commonly used for treating TMJ and bruxism, may pose a risk of worsening obstructive sleep apnea in patients with that condition. While a few earlier studies have touched on this matter, this is the first study to use quantitative measures to answer the question. All subjects had 3 recordings done in a sleep laboratory while wearing a splint and 3 recordings without it. Also, it is the first one to use a randomized format in which each patient is his own control; half of the patients wore a splint first and then slept without it, while the other half followed the opposite protocol. Read full article.

Time to Eliminate the Third Pathway

As many TMJ patients already know from personal experience, the TMJ field is complicated by having so many diverse concepts of diagnosis, etiology, and treatment. As a result, it is difficult for a patient who maybe having a temporomandibular problem to find care – and to avoid the harmful procedures that are often recommended and carried out.

Dr. Charles S. Greene has provided us with a brief summary of a paper titled, Treating Temporomandibular Disorders in the 21st Century: Can We Finally Eliminate the “Third Pathway”?, which he recently co-authored with Professor Daniele Manfredini. The authors point out that the general management of joint and muscle problems by the medical orthopedic profession is based on a “Two-Track” system of medical and/or surgical treatments. Read full article.