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What's New in TMJ Disorder and Pain Research?

Here’s a list of studies and research related to TMJ disorder that has been published since our last update about the OPPERA TMJ Research and Newsstudy.

  1. Orthodontics for treating temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders – July 2010 – The Cochrane Collaboration – This was a review of the existing studies, trying to establish if braces reduced symptoms in patients with TMJ disorder. In the end, there was not enough data for them to analyze to find answers. Their conclusion: “There is no evidence about the effects of different types of orthodontic braces for problems associated with the joint between the lower jaw and skull.” It also said that there is an “urgent need” for more studies in this area. Link to the Study
  2. Acupuncture for temporomandibular disorders: a systematic review – Spring 2010 – Journal of Orofacial Pain – This a study done by Korean researchers, in which nineteen reports were analyzed to see if acupuncture was effective to treat symptoms of TMJ disorder.  The scientists found that there was “moderate” evidence that acupuncture was effective in treating TMD symptoms. This is good, and seems to point to acupuncture being an option for treatment of TMJ disorder symptoms! Similar to the above study, more research was recommended, including larger sample sizes and longer term studies.  Link to the study.
  3. Read More »What's New in TMJ Disorder and Pain Research?

What’s New in TMJ Disorder and Pain Research?

Here’s a list of studies and research related to TMJ disorder that has been published since our last update about the OPPERA TMJ Research and Newsstudy.

  1. Orthodontics for treating temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders – July 2010 – The Cochrane Collaboration – This was a review of the existing studies, trying to establish if braces reduced symptoms in patients with TMJ disorder. In the end, there was not enough data for them to analyze to find answers. Their conclusion: “There is no evidence about the effects of different types of orthodontic braces for problems associated with the joint between the lower jaw and skull.” It also said that there is an “urgent need” for more studies in this area. Link to the Study
  2. Acupuncture for temporomandibular disorders: a systematic review – Spring 2010 – Journal of Orofacial Pain – This a study done by Korean researchers, in which nineteen reports were analyzed to see if acupuncture was effective to treat symptoms of TMJ disorder.  The scientists found that there was “moderate” evidence that acupuncture was effective in treating TMD symptoms. This is good, and seems to point to acupuncture being an option for treatment of TMJ disorder symptoms! Similar to the above study, more research was recommended, including larger sample sizes and longer term studies.  Link to the study.
  3. Read More »What’s New in TMJ Disorder and Pain Research?

TMJ Disorder Questions & Answers Part Three

is there a cure for TMJ?
Here are the latest questions that have been submitted by TMJ disorder patients. Do you have a TMJ related question? Ask in the comments section below or send it to us and your question could be featured in our next Q&A!


1. Once you have TMJ do you have the problem for life or can you get rid of it completely?

This is a hard question to answer. Some patients find that they get better almost immediately with self-care techniques like a soft diet or heat or ice. Other patients however, don’t get better so fast. They might need some follow-up treatment with their dentist, splints, physical therapy, some medications, or other treatments. An even smaller percentage still may need to go on to more invasive treatment, like surgery. Please understand that this percentage is very small. Right now we don’t have any specific data on how many people end up having jaw surgery, but we do know that it’s a very small percentage – possibly in the 5% (or lower) percentile.
So to answer your question, is TMJ disorder something you will have for life, or can you get rid of it? I am not sure – everyone is so different. Most people don’t have it for life as far as we can tell, but I think it’s also something that you will always be aware of. For example, you might always have some jaw discomfort after eating something that is chewy. So it may be something that you have to deal with on and off throughout your life.
We find that many patients have periods in their lives where they are not affected by TMJ disorder, then other times where it does have an effect on their life and how they live. Stress is obviously a factor, and many patients find that if they are able to get rid of the TMJ pain for a long time, a period of high stress will make it come back.
I hope this answers your question, I know it’s complicated and I wish there was one answer that was 100% definitive but unfortunately there isn’t yet.Read More »TMJ Disorder Questions & Answers Part Three

TMJ Disorder Questions & Answers Part Three

is there a cure for TMJ?
Here are the latest questions that have been submitted by TMJ disorder patients. Do you have a TMJ related question? Ask in the comments section below or send it to us and your question could be featured in our next Q&A!


1. Once you have TMJ do you have the problem for life or can you get rid of it completely?

This is a hard question to answer. Some patients find that they get better almost immediately with self-care techniques like a soft diet or heat or ice. Other patients however, don’t get better so fast. They might need some follow-up treatment with their dentist, splints, physical therapy, some medications, or other treatments. An even smaller percentage still may need to go on to more invasive treatment, like surgery. Please understand that this percentage is very small. Right now we don’t have any specific data on how many people end up having jaw surgery, but we do know that it’s a very small percentage – possibly in the 5% (or lower) percentile.
So to answer your question, is TMJ disorder something you will have for life, or can you get rid of it? I am not sure – everyone is so different. Most people don’t have it for life as far as we can tell, but I think it’s also something that you will always be aware of. For example, you might always have some jaw discomfort after eating something that is chewy. So it may be something that you have to deal with on and off throughout your life.
We find that many patients have periods in their lives where they are not affected by TMJ disorder, then other times where it does have an effect on their life and how they live. Stress is obviously a factor, and many patients find that if they are able to get rid of the TMJ pain for a long time, a period of high stress will make it come back.
I hope this answers your question, I know it’s complicated and I wish there was one answer that was 100% definitive but unfortunately there isn’t yet.Read More »TMJ Disorder Questions & Answers Part Three