A research study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association details new insights into the painful condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ disorder. The study outlines two rounds of research conducted by a team of chiropractic specialists, headed by James W. DeVocht, DC, Ph.D., an associate professor at the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research in Davenport, Iowa. The initial research was conducted in 2003 using nine volunteer patients. In this study, DeVocht and his team attempted to treat TMJ disorder with chiropractic adjustment.
Following modest success, DeVocht relaunched the study this past year, this time using 80 patients and four control groups: one group with genuine chiropractic treatment, one group with fake or placebo chiropractic treatment, one group with exercises to do at home, and another group that utilized reversible interocclusal splint therapy, or RIST.
Among the four groups, most patients reported modest success, opening doors for DeVocht and his team to expand the study and conduct more in-depth research. Dr. Alexandra George is a neuromuscular dentist practicing in Wexford, Pennsylvania. She says seeking alternative therapies in addition to neuromuscular dental treatment can be extremely beneficial.
“I have patients who have found relief combining neuromuscular orthodontic treatment with physical therapy,” says George. “These therapies complement each other well, but I recommend that alternative therapies be done in conjunction with neuromuscular orthodontics.”
While there is currently no cure for TMJ disorder, there are more options for treating the condition. Until a cure is found, patients can take comfort in knowing studies such as the one conducted by researchers at the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research and neuromuscular dentists like George aren’t taking the condition lightly.