First Evidence-based Recommendations to Improve Diagnosis of Temporomandibular Disorders
These diagnostic criteria are intended to improve diagnosis of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Temporomandibular joint disorders, more commonly known as TMJ, represents a group of painful jaw conditions that affect an estimated 10 to 15 percent of the US population, but affecting twice as many women as men, and seen more often among women using either supplemental estrogen or oral contraceptives are more likely to seek treatment for these conditions.
The diagnostic criteria, developed by researchers in North America, Europe and Australia, are professional recommendations that offer an improved screening tool to enable practitioners to more readily differentiate the most common forms of TMD and reach accurate diagnoses supported by scientific evidence, rather than the consensus of expert opinion and shared clinical perspective. Yet, there is no mention of the 2:1 prevalence of the disorder in women in either the abstract or the NIH press release despite a clear sex specific relationship.
“We’ve had diagnostic criteria for years,” said Eric Schiffman, D.D.S., a study co-author,and associate professor and Director of the Division of TMD and Orofacial Pain at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Minneapolis. “What is unique here is instead of a panel of experts empirically deciding best practices, we relied on science as a methodology to test our best assumptions and see if we were actually correct.”