Pittsburgh to Host Upcoming TMJ Bioengineering Conference
The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine is one of several co-sponsors of the upcoming TMJ Bioengineering Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, being held September 20-22, 2012. The meeting will provide a unique opportunity for bioengineers, clinicians, and scientists to discuss the challenges presented by temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD, in the medical literature TMD, or TMJ syndrome) and to devise strategies to address those challenges.
The overall meeting objective is to organize a scientific conference exclusively dedicated to the TMJ, and to advance the field of TMJ research and strengthen the continuity among clinicians, scientists, and bioengineers in this pursuit. This overall objective will be addressed by the following specific objectives:
- Provide recommendations to the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research TMJD Program on novel scientific approaches and critical research topics that will advance the field.
- Establish a benchmark for current treatments and scientific knowledge.
- Bring outside perspective from experts in areas pertinent to TMJ research.
TMJD is an umbrella term covering acute or chronic pain, especially in the muscles of mastication and/or inflammation of the TMJ, which connects the mandible to the skull. The primary cause is muscular hyper- or parafunction, as in the case of bruxism, with secondary effects on the oral musculoskeletal system, like various types of displacement of the disc in the TMJ. The disorder and resultant dysfunction can result in significant pain, which is the most common TMD symptom, combined with impairment of function. Because the disorder transcends the boundaries between several health-care disciplines — in particular, dentistry and neurology — there are a variety of treatment approaches.
The TMJ is susceptible to many of the conditions that affect other joints in the body, including ankylosis, arthritis, trauma, dislocations, developmental anomalies, neoplasia, and reactive lesions. Signs and symptoms of TMJD vary in their presentation and can be very complex, but are often simple. On average the symptoms will involve more than one of the numerous TMJ components: muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, connective tissue, and the teeth. Ear pain associated with the swelling of proximal tissue is a symptom of TMJD.
You should attend this conference if…
- You are not currently in TMJ research, but are looking for new and relatively unexplored funding areas where you can apply your research strengths.
- You are currently a TMJ researcher and want to keep up with the latest advances in the field.
- You are looking for collaborators in TMJ research.
- You are a bioengineer, and want to know the practical needs of surgeons and patients.
- You are a clinician, and want to understand the capabilities of the engineering community.