#22 TMD: “Nothing Can Be Done About IT”

The greatest problem with TMD is the consensus, among doctors and patients alike, that nothing can be done about it.  Half of all dentists turn patients away who arrive with the diagnosis.  The other half prescribe a night guard (occlusal guard) and tell the patient it will help with TMD symptoms knowing that it doesn’t, while giving the patient some hope for relief and satisfying their urge to offer some treatment, although ineffective.  The patients, on the other hand, congregate in on-line groups comparing symptoms and lamenting the various efforts made and doctors visited without symptom resolution.   The academic world calls together major conferences to define the symptoms and elaborate on directions for future research without defining the common denominator involved in the disease process.  This is the current state of affairs regarding TMD.  The textbooks show glossy photographs of recommended surgical procedures and describe the litany of pharmaceutical suggestions and physical manipulations that have been used for years, decades in fact, which give only temporary relief at best.

How can so many well intended, intelligent researchers and patient providers miss the mark on providing answers to the TMD conundrum.  There is a reason, and the reason is obvious.  All these individuals and groups start out their journey in attempting to solve the TMD problem by being told that the temporomandibular joint is a very complicated and unique structure. “It is a jont like no other joint in the body”.  They are taught from the earliest stages of their dental education that the TMJ is totally different than any other joint in the body and it is so complicated that no one can fully understand how it operates and what makes it diseased.  This is what I was taught in dental school.  I have never had a dentist disagree when I ask what they were taught about the TMJ.  We were all taught the TMJ is really complicated.  We were all taught the TMJ is like no other joint.

However, the truth is the TMJ is not complicated and operates just like every other joint in the body.  Because of my extensive training in medicine, surgery, anatomy, cell biology in addition to dentistry I came to the realization that the TMJ operates just like the hip or the knee, or the elbow.  That was the breakthrough. When I compared and contrasted the operation of the TMJ to the other joints of the body the common denominator for all joint disease applied itself to the TMJ as well.  And that common denominator is inflammation.  That is fact.  Inflammation is the common denominator for ally types of joint disease.

Well, how do you diminish inflammation.  Anti-inflammatory drugs are effective, but only for a short time with decreasing effectiveness the longer they are used.  Everyone knows that.  And just like all drugs, anti-inflammatories have substantial side effects, especially when taken long term.  Anti-inflammatories can cause significant damage to the liver and kidneys.   Does surgery diminish inflammation.  Personally performing over 2000 surgical procedures on the TMJ has proven that surgery does not diminish inflammation.

Applying the rule that the TMJ operates like any other joint, how do you decrease inflammation in the knee, hip or elbow if you cannot or do not use drugs, or surgery.  You take the load off the joint by using a set of crutches for the knee, a walker for the hip, and a sling for the elbow.  So simple.  And that is exactly what the Urbanek Device does for the TMJ.  It takes the load off of the TMJs like a set of crutches takes the load off the knees.  And you use the Urbanek Device according to a precise protocol to achieve the unloading and decreased inflammation rapidly and long term.

Understanding the nature of inflammation and how the TMJ operates like other joints opened the path to the solution.  Now, “Something Can Be Done About IT”.