From: Judy 
Date: Mon, Nov 2, 1998 00:07 EST
Message-id: <>

I posted this last year and I feel it fitting that it be reposted this

Take care
Judy  :)
Author: Judy
Date:   1997/11/15

Hello to all!

On this special day in mid November, I feel it is fitting to let you all
know that it is Jaw Joints--"TMJ AWARENESS MONTH"! 

Maybe this will be the month that there will be a new "understanding"
between the TMJ patients and the Dental Professionalists in this forum.

Maybe if we can find the understanding here we can bring it out to the
"real" world for all to benefit!

So Happy TMJ AWARENESS MONTH to you all!!

Take care
Judy   :)

                          TMJ AWARENESS MONTH
                           HON. BARNEY FRANK

                            of massachusetts

                    in the house of representatives

                      Tuesday, September 30, 1997

  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I would like to call to my 
colleagues' attention the designation of this coming November and all 
future Novembers as Jaw Joints--TMJ Awareness Month. In Washington's 
world of abbreviations and acronyms, TMJ is not one of the better known.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders are among the more painful, yet least
well understood disorders affecting people today. While estimates of the
number of

[[Page E1900]]

people in this country affected by TMJ disorders run into the millions, 
these disorders are often mistaken for other ailments or presumed to be 
psychological in nature.
  In light of the difficulties that exist in diagnosing and treating TMJ
disorders it is clearly very appropriate to establish an awareness 
month, and I applaud the Jaw Joints & Allied Musculo-Skeletal Disorders 
Foundation for helping organize this effort. The foundation, which is 
based in Boston, was created and is presided over by two extremely 
dedicated Massachusetts residents named Renee and Milton Glass. They 
have been an excellent source of information to me over the years about 
TMJ and related matters, and, although this November is officially TMJ 
Awareness Month, it is also in many ways a tribute to their dedication 
and hard work in the cause of helping those who suffer from this 
  As part of that work, Renee and Milton Glass and their colleagues are 
going to be involved in two important TMJ-related events in Washington 
in November. On November 20 and 21, the National Institutes of Health 
will be holding a workshop entitled ``New Directions in Pain 
Research,'' which will include some discussion of TMJ. On November 22, 
the TMJ Association's annual meeting, with participation by the 
foundation, will take place at the NIH. Both events will no doubt make 
valuable contributions to the goals of TMJ Awareness Month.
  Mr. Speaker, because I share the Glass' belief in the importance of 
making the public more aware of the effects of Temporomandibular Joint 
Disorders, I ask that the attached material describing TMJ in more 
detail, as well as the foundation's mission statement, be entered into 
the Record.

                    Jaw Joints--TMJ Awareness Month

       Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, commonly referred to as 
     ``TMJ,'' afflict millions of Americans, both children and 
     adults of both sexes and all races.
       ``TMJ'' is a painful and disabling disorder that emanates 
     from the Jaw Joints and can affect the health of the entire 
     neuro-musculo-skeletal system often spreading pain and 
     dysfunction throughout the body.
       The Jaw Joints are the most special and complex joints in 
     the entire anatomy. While similar to other joints--cushioned 
     by cartilage, held together by ligaments, and moved by 
     muscles activated by nerves--they differ in their structure 
     which allows them to perform more functions than the other 
     joints in the body allowing the mandible [lower jaw] to 
     function in a five-way movement, i.e., from side-to-side, 
     forward-and-backward, up-and-down, and to ``open wide.''
       Due to their location, the Jaw Joints are the pathway for 
     motor and sensory activities to and from the brain to the 
     rest of the body. Disorders to the Jaw Joints, therefore, can 
     upset the delicate balance of the neuro-musculo-skeletal 
     systems. Some of the diverse symptoms of this multi-faceted 
     TMJ disorder include inability to open or close the mouth 
     freely, difficulty in chewing and swallowing, headache, eye 
     pain, ringing and pain in the ears, leg cramps, fatigue, and 
     pain to the muscles throughout the entire body. Many of the 
     symptoms mimic or overlap with many other disorders, thereby 
     creating the popular designation for TMJ as ``The Great 
     Imposter,'' and its sufferers as ``Prisoners of Pain.''
       While they are orthopedic joints like all other joints in 
     the body, care for the Jaw Joints and disorders to them 
     ``falls between the cracks'' of medicine and dentistry, but 
     is largely directed into a dental and psychosomatic realm 
     despite the myriad of symptoms usually treated by physicians 
     and other non-dental health providers. TMJ has not yet been 
     established as a ``legitimate'' medical disorder, thereby 
     denying millions of Americans their fair entitlements to 
     health insurance and other benefits, as well as their dignity 
     and deprives them of decent quality of life. TMJ patients, 
     therefore, are further penalized by being physically, 
     emotionally, and financially broken.
       The nation's pioneer TMJ patient advocacy organization, 
     established in 1982, the Jaw Joints & Allied Musculo-Skeletal 
     Disorders Foundation, Inc. [JJAMD] is headquartered in 
     Boston, Massachusetts. Among its many goals and missions is 
     the broader recognition of the importance of healthy Jaw 
     Joints to good oral and general health. It plans to establish 
     in-school programs to teach children, their teachers and 
     parents, the importance and function of the Jaw Joints, as 
     well as safety and prevention of injury to the Jaw Joints in 
     sports, play, and daily activities. JJAMD advocates for 
     recognition by the Medical Profession and their Societies, 
     Center for Disease Control [CDC,] the National Institutes of 
     Health [NIH], the Arthritis Foundation, and all others 
     concerning the need to include the Jaw Joints along with all 
     other joints for inclusion in their programs, appropriate 
     comprehensive research and reporting in the medical and 
     dental literature. JJAMD also encourages the Dental 
     Profession to work with the Medical Profession and to 
     establish a requisite TMJ Speciality training within their 
     professional schools.
       JJAMD advocates for the creation of medical models and 
     medical protocols for the necessary appropriate health 
     insurance coverage for TMJ patients. This will help to end 
     the discrimination against millions of Americans who suffer 
     with this disorder with disastrous results--including the 
     thousands who have had silicone joint implants which have 
     failed. To this end, JJAMD has sponsored independent 
     research, holds free public lectures, encourages support/
     self-help groups and has organized and conducted professional 
     lectures and national seminars. JJAMD has received the 
     support of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in 
     many of its activities and has become allied with another 
     leading patient advocacy organization. The TMJ Association, 
     Ltd., in efforts to support all TMJ suffers around the 
       The ultimate aim of these actions is to alleviate the 
     untold preventable human suffering of to those afflicted with 
     TMJ as well as the needless high costs of health care 
     associated therewith. By designating November of each years 
     as ``Jaw Joints-TMJ Awareness Month'' awareness can be 
     increased among all Americans, and in particular those in a 
     position to help treat, insure, provide appropriate research 
     ultimately to prevent this scourge in our nation.

    Jaw Joints & Allied Musculo-skeletal Disorders Foundation, Inc.

                               WHO WE ARE

       The Jaw Joints & Allied Musculo-Skeletal Disorders 
     Foundation, Inc. [JJAMD] is a 501(c)(3) non-profit national 
     educational, research, and advocacy organization. It works in 
     promoting awareness, prevention, research, and knowledge of 
     the Jaw Joints to whole body health. The disorder to the 
     TemporoMandibular Joints [i.e., in layperson's term Jaw 
     Joints], is mostly known as ``TMJ Disorders.'' TMJ is one of 
     the most pervasive, least understood, and controversial 
     health disorders in existence today. TMJ is now acknowledged 
     as a component in other disorders, and is also called by a 
     variety of other names and acronyms, adding to the 

                            vision statement

       JJAMD expresses its vision through the use of an axiom that 
     ``Life Revolves Around the Jaw Joints in Every Motor and 
     Sensory activity 24 hours a day, awake or asleep.'' JJAMD 
     believes that the disorder to these TemporoMandibular 
     Joints--known primarily as ``TMJ Disorder''--is largely 
     preventable through a responsible and high quality program of 
     public awareness and education.

                           MISSION STATEMENT

       The specific mission of JJAMD, is to network with TMJ 
     patients, the general public, health providers and their 
     affiliations and societies, governmental agencies, insurers, 
     and through liaison with the Massachusetts Department of 
     Public Health, in order to:
       Foster appropriate comprehensive public awareness, 
     knowledge, education, research, and information concerning 
     the TemporoMandibular Joints [the Jaw Joints]--how they are 
     structured, their function, and their relationship to the 
     whole body for general good health.
       Promote prevention of disorders and diseases to the Jaw 
     Joints and advocate for appropriate comprehensive perception, 
     medical/dental classification, diagnoses, and treatments for 
     TMJ Disorder.
       Foster self-help-support groups through a National TMJ 
     Alliance. Exchange information with other organizations who 
     deal with disorders containing a TMJ component or 
       Encourage the Medical and Dental professions to work 
     together in a multidisciplinary team effort to create a 
     medical model, protocols for appropriate research, diagnoses, 
     treatments, and responsible health insurance coverage.
       Enlist the Medical/Dental School educators, and emergency 
     medical staff, to include within their curricula the routine 
     teaching of the TemporoMandibular Joints [TMJ] and the 
     disorders and diseases to them.

[Congressional Record: October 2, 1997 (Extensions)]
[Page E1899-E1900]
>From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access
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