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Just came across the following Cochrane review on TMJ disorders  (TMD) (Luther et al 2010). Cochrane reviews are the gold standard in evidence based medicine, they do meta-analysis of all the available data. Ben Goldacre (2008), author of Bad Science, pays a long homage to the importance of Cochrane reviews in his book. The text below is the summary from a review done in July 2010. They often come up with surprises (natural health approaches frequently get a kicking), great line at the end: ‘we do not know the real cause of TMD at present’. Not sure what to make of it all really, it certainly affirms how complex an area the jaw is to treat; alignment should not be the only goal of treatment. There may be a few unhappy dentists and brace wearers out there if they come across this review. I assume braces still work for straightening teeth but there is no evidence that they work if the goal is to prevent TMD. (Also just found there is a 2004 Cochrane review (Al-Ani et al 2004) saying there is not enough evidence for whether or not splints worn at night work – wow again. There is also a review saying grinding of teeth surfaces by dentists, ‘occlusional adjustment’, has no evidence to support it relieving TMD (Koh and Robinson 2003))

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