tmj_optTMJ Health LLC, Farmington Hills, Mich, recently announced that TMJ NextGeneration, an FDA-cleared medical device that is a safe and effective aid in reducing Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) pain, is available nationwide.  The device consists of two custom-made, hollow ear canal inserts that allow full passage of sound and are practically invisible from the outside.

TMJD are a group of painful conditions that affect the jaw joint and surrounding muscles and nerves. While not life-threatening, the symptoms, including jaw pain, stiffness, clicking and locking, chewing difficulty, and migraines,  can interfere with life. The National Institute of Health estimates that TMJD could afflict more than 35 million Americans, the majority of whom are women between 20 and 40 years of age.

According to a release from the company, patients wearing the devices in a 3-month clinical study experienced a significant reduction in the pain and dysfunction associated with TMJD, to an extent at least as much as that experienced by patients wearing a bite splint. In addition to the pain reduction, 100% of subjects indicated excellent (71%) or good (29%) overall satisfaction with TMJ NextGeneration.

Traditionally, TMJD has been treated with bite splints.

“While bite splints have helped to reduce pain associated with TMJD, there are drawbacks with these devices,” said Roger Wixtrom, PhD.  “For example, they cannot be worn while eating and they can also affect speech, and as such are typically only worn at night while sleeping.”

TMJ NextGeneration takes a different approach in treatment. The ear canal is located very close to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and the volume of the ear canal increases when the jaw is opened through movements such as chewing, smiling, and speaking. The device uses this anatomical change to provide a unique near field treatment for TMJD.