Preliminary Results Released from Seven Year Study on TMJ disorder (TMJD) by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). The study, Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment (OPPERA), collected excellent data on the risks for TMJD.

Prelim results include:
  • Women's risk for TMJD increased between 18-44 years old.  Men did not show an age correlation with risk.
  • Socio-economic status is not correlated with chronic TMJD, which is in contrast to correlation with other chronic pain, sciatica, and ulcers. 
  • Chronic TMJD sufferers are generally more sensitive to pain stimuli, which may be associated with the nervous system. 
  • Genes known to influence stress response, psychological well-being and inflammation were shown to connect with chronic TMJD. 
  • Chronic TMJD patients have other chronic pain conditions like lower back pain, headaches and fibromyalgia. 
  • Grinding and clenching were associated with TMJD, and will be the subject of further study. 
Link: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/Research/ResearchResults/NewsReleases/PressStatements/ChronicTMJD.htm

temporomandibular joint