The first-ever prospective clinical trial to identify risk factors that contribute to the development of temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJDs) has been launched by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The trial will involve investigative units at the University of Florida in Gainesville, the University of Buffalo-SUNY, the University of Maryland at Baltimore, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The 7-year study, called Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment, or OPPERA, will receive $19.1 million to track 3200 healthy individuals from 3 to 5 years to see how many develop a TMJD. Those who do may provide researchers with clues to the early stages of TMJDs and help them decipher which genes or other factors might be involved.
Hampton T. TMJD Study. JAMA. 2006;295(4):377. doi:10.1001/jama.295.4.377-a