TMD is a group of health conditions affecting jaw joints and muscles. Dr. Sandra Fuller in Greensboro maintains several priorities for TMD research and care, including genetics, patient-centered care, pain management, and treatment options. Her study aims to improve patient care and lead to more effective TMJ disorder treatment.
Patient-centered care is a key goal at Fuller Sleep & TMJ. We use integrated and coordinated multi-level approaches to focus on a patient-centered perspective and involve relevant stakeholders, including patient advocacy groups, regulatory agencies, and the private sector. Our other goals include the stratification of patients based on their symptoms, validation of etiological targets, and engagement with patients and providers.
Dr. Sandra Fuller in Greensboro has developed a research strategy to support this vision, including research priorities. Prioritizing research priorities will help address evidence gaps, identify effective treatments, and improve patient care. It will also facilitate coordination among research teams via a Coordinated Registry Network (CRN).
At Fuller Sleep & TMJ, TMD research and care is a field that combines medical research and genetics. Our researchers have found that certain genetic polymorphisms may influence a person's risk of developing TMD. This discovery is exciting as it may provide a genetic risk factor for TMD.
TMD research and care may include examining genes influencing pain and nociceptive pathways. These genes are associated with susceptibility to common pain conditions, which may serve as potential therapeutic targets.
Pain management is a key component of TMJ disorder treatment. There are several ways to measure pain in this condition. Doctors can use dynamic tests such as chewing, talking and yawning to see if the patient is experiencing significant discomfort. Another way to measure pain is by identifying the type of pain the patient is experiencing and whether it interferes with their daily activities.
The pain experienced by patients with TMD may be due to changes in the cervical spine and the central nervous system. To treat these changes, physical therapy or virtual reality may be beneficial. In addition, biomechanical knowledge obtained from musculoskeletal modeling and ultrasound muscle imaging at Fuller Sleep & TMJ can improve diagnosis and post-surgical rehabilitation approaches.
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