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The TMJ Association, Ltd. (TMJA), a Research!America member, was founded in 1989 in Milwaukee, WI by two TMJ patients. The organization’s mission is to improve the quality of health care and lives of everyone affected by Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD), commonly called TMJ. TMD are a complex and poorly understood set of conditions characterized by pain in the jaw joint and surrounding tissues with limitation in jaw movements. TMD pain may range from mild discomfort to severe and intractable accompanied by jaw dysfunction necessitating a feeding tube for sustenance. For many sufferers, their ability to chew, swallow, make facial expressions, and even breathe is limited. It is estimated that over 35 million Americans suffer from TMD; the majority are women in their childbearing years.
With no scientific guidance and no research into treatment strategies, health care providers are incapable of making evidence-based treatment decisions for TMD patients. The result has been more than 50 unproven treatments — including drugs and surgery — recommended to TMD patients. When treatment goes awry, pain and dysfunction worsen. So the need for research remains paramount. The only entity currently funding TMD research in America is the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Continue reading →