Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs), are a set of more than 30 health disorders associated with both the temporomandibular joints and the muscles and tissues of the jaw. TMDs have a range of causes and often co-occur with a number of overlapping medical conditions, including headaches, fibromyalgia, back pain and irritable bowel syndrome. TMDs can be transient or long-lasting and may be associated with problems that range from an occasional click of the jaw to severe chronic pain involving the entire orofacial region. Everyday activities, including eating and talking, are often difficult for people with TMDs, and many of them suffer with severe chronic pain due to this condition. Common social activities that most people take for granted, such as smiling, laughing, and kissing, can become unbearable. This dysfunction and pain, and its associated suffering, take a terrible toll on affected individuals, their families, and their friends. Individuals with TMDs often feel stigmatized and invalidated in their experiences by their family, friends, and, often, the health care community. Misjudgments and a failure to understand the nature and depths of TMDs can have severe consequences - more pain and more suffering - for individuals, their families and our society.
Temporomandibular Disorders: Priorities for Research and Care calls on a number of stakeholders - across medicine, dentistry, and other fields - to improve the health and well-being of individuals with a TMD. This report addresses the current state of knowledge regarding TMD research, education and training, safety and efficacy of clinical treatments of TMDs, and burden and costs associated with TMDs. The recommendations of Temporomandibular Disorders focus on the actions that many organizations and agencies should take to improve TMD research and care and improve the overall health and well-being of individuals with a TMD.