What can be said to help TMJ Disorder sufferers to feel better? How about, "Let's give them Medical Care!" or even, "Can we please all recognize that these people are human beings and help them?" Well, that would be great were Medicare and Federal Insurance Guidelines to include TMJD as a medical, not dental, condition and, as such, to provide coverage for needed TMJD treatments or surgeries. Unfortunately, TMJD is a long overlooked and neglected illness and the many people suffering pain and associated dysfunction from it have quite the fight and plight upon them. I am one with a severe case who has diligently sought guidance from our so-called Lawmakers as to how to get coverage for an overdue Total TMJ Replacement (Arthroplasty) Surgery (see my here inserted, but dated x-ray). Sadly, what I have mainly discovered is that few American Politicians reply to desperate requests from citizens at all, and of the few who have replied, most say their hands are tied to help. We  all must continue to advocate for awareness of this dilemma. Broken and damaged jaws and jaw joints hurt! They hurt just as does any damaged joint or bone and lawmakers must hear the voices of us all so to recognize that lack of funding for TMJ Disorders is absurd. It causes many people to have handicaps who would otherwise be happier, healthier, and more productive citizens. In a comment to a local television station's interview with me concerning this very illness, one person wrote, "Isn't it unfortunate our government will pour billions of our tax dollars into saving corporate moguls who have overspent their budgets, but will not consider better healthcare for the poor less fortunate persons." Indeed. While many wonderful people such as Milton and Renee Glass of Jaw Joints & Allied Musculo-Skeletal Disorders Foundation [JJAMD] (tmjoints.org) and Dr. Robert Christensen, D.D.S., FAIMBE of TMJ Implants, Inc. (tmj.com) have made valiant effort to help others become aware of the TMJ Dilemma, there is much more effort needed by we, the people. Absolutely we all need continually speak to or wrote to our local and Federal leaders until they finally understand that the Medical and Dental associations of America MUST band together in recognizing TMJD as a real problem causing likely thousands of people to lack quality in their lives. 

If you are not one suffering TMJD, think of how terrible it is to have constant pain, lack of sleep, irritability or sadness, and whole-body exhaustion. It is awful. Again, we can hope or pray that a solution will come and we will all receive the Medical Care we need, but that is not very logical. We must DO something about it. We can start local petitions, contact our politicians, tell our friends, do whatever must be done so we and our children and grandchildren will have more than hope and prayer on our sides. We will have Medical Care, and won't that be great! By the way, all, last week policemen showed up at my door, saying, "Jill, you are not going to believe who sent us to check on you." I had no idea, but after writing hundreds of letters seeking guidance for my/our TMJ dilemma, I hoped it was the President. It wasn't. It was "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that sent them, they told me. So, people, there are others that care. The poor young officers did not know quite what to do with me. They asked, "Are you suicidal?" I answered, "Not at the moment, but if you think locking me in a cell will get me Medical Care and the overdue surgery I need, by all means, arrest me!" They didn't. I'm afraid I and we, yet, have them all stumped. I am not going to give up without a fight, though, folks, so you don't either. We deserve medical care! And, Oh, Yes! The photo of the sculpture ("Companions") here pasted is of how I feel (wounded!). The bruised clay lady (me) holds 13 pages of poetry (yes, it's small, but it's there) written over years in effort to try to release and represent how it feels to live in horrible pain every moment. The base of the sculpture was made with paper, torn-up paper that was once printed poetry. I felt it suiting to use those pages for part of the sculpture. Also, the photo of the oil painting ("It's Me and Jimi"), here pasted, was another attempt at getting my mind off of pain for a moment. I did not get rid of the pain, but creating the sculpture and painting at least took my mind off of it, briefly. Perhaps others with similar pain will want to try to use art as a pain-management choice? It is worth a try. Best Wishes and Hang In There!    Jill Johnson   Clifton, CO.

Please learn, further, of the plight of TMJD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) patients at the following websites:




JJAMD FOUNDATION was successful in 1988 getting Congressman Barney Frank to inaugurate and read into Congress this Proclamation:

"JAW JOINTS - TMJ AWARENESS MONTH"  in perpetuity each November.



Medicare Petition Results

Target: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Blvd., Baltimore MD 21244-1850

Sponsored by:  Jill Johnson


We the undersigned petition for Medicare and Medicaid guideline changes regarding TMJ-TMJD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) as current rules incorrectly insist TMJ-TMJD is a dental rather than medical condition and because of this thousands are not receiving the medical care they desperately need. Damage to the jaw-joint is as painful and debilitating as damage can be to any other joint and Medicare and Medicaid need recognize the devastation and dysfunction TMJ-TMJD can cause to people's lives. Please recognize that jaw-joint health is part of total body and mind health and help those suffering from this condition to have hope for treatment and pain-relief by convincing whoever writes the insurance guidelines of this truth and of the urgent need for guideline reform. 


Thank You for taking the time to read this letter. 




We signed "Medicare" Petition Regarding TMJ

#71  Nov    Sarah Lovelace, CO

#70  Oct 29    Sandra Tabor, TX

#69  Sep 30    Christopher Webb, GA

#68  Sep 17    Michael Holliday, PA

I have a torn disc in my jaw bone. Causes me excruciating pain every day of my life. ATM I am on Medicare. I am in so much pain everyday , if I had this procedure done I may feel a bit more productive with my life. Pretty stupid not taking care of a medical procedure that can be easily remedied and relieve a person of a lot of pain that they may have to endure for the rest of their lives without the procedure.

# 67  Aug 19    Brenda Jones, PA

#66 Aug 14    Alamzeb Akhund, Pakistan

#65  Jun 28       J.C., PA.

My Daughter suffers Daily with TMJ, Severely Impacts her Health !!Insurances Need to Include all facets of health, There should be NO SEPARATION of DENTAL & MEDICAL PERIOD... All should be covered Because One Affects the other, Health is Health.. This world is so screwed up... Please cover TMJ and other facial Dental problems.

#64  May 30    Bebe Brawley, OK

My daughter who is on Medicare has TMJ, it is VERY painful & I have seen her in horrific pain from this to the point of unbearable. She has mouth guards, etc. insurance didn't pay for which are VERY costly. 750.00 for one & 395.00 for a smaller one. She has her first tmj appointment Monday, doesn't look like much help from her insurance. Out of pocket...people who are on Medicare aren't getting rich & its hard to pay the total out of pocket which is VERY costly. This isn't right, if she broke her foot, neck, etc. insurance would cover it. Wake up people this is a poor excuse to treat people like this. COVER TMJ!

#63  May 30      Name not displayed, WA

#62  May 11      Cheryl Meyers, NY

#51  Apr 13       Mike Moore, United Kingdom

#60  Apr 12       Name not displayed, RI 

#59  Apr 11       Jessica Dijkstra, MI

#58  Apr 03       Christine Terry, CA

#57  Apr 02       Richard Hollister, AZ

#56  Apr 02       Kevin Olheiser, MN

#55  Mar 13       Jennifer Eubanks, CO

#54  Mar 13       Courtney Perrine, CA

#53  Mar 12       Name not displayed, ME

I am on Medicare because I am disabled and now I have TMJ to add to my other medical problems. If any one had it, they would take it more seriously. It is definitely a serious medical condition that should be covered by insurance. Anything that causes chronic pain should be fixed, if possible. It is possible, but most Americans cannot afford the treatment. If people can be helped and we have treatments, then why not allow coverage of such treatments? There are times to be conservative, but not when it involves people's lives and could help relieve pain.

#52  Mar 11       Kathyrn Lawson, CO

#51  Mar 02       Name not displayed, CO

#50  Mar 03       Del Owens, ID

#49  Mar 02       Karen J. Jones, CO

#48  Mar 02       Wendell G. Lawrence Lawrence, CO

#47  Feb 26       Toni Clark, CO

#46  Feb 26       Barb Zonitch, FL

#45  Feb 18       Kenneth Relaford, OK

#44  Feb 14       Chris Daugaard, UT

#43  Feb 11       Suzanne Calligaro, CO

The jaw joint is a bone joint. If Jill had broken her arm or hip bone, Medicaid would cover it. Not to cover this bone problem with Medicaid is just stupid and makes no sense.

#42  Feb 06       Kevin Green, CO

#41  Feb 02       Harold Snider, CO

#40  Feb 01       John Casper, ID

$39  Jan 28       Dave Thomas, CO

#38  Jan 27       Paul V. Siebenrock, WA

#37  Jan 26       Sarah Ellis, ID

#36  Jan 26       Liam Foley, Ireland

#35  Jan 26       Connie Hearn, TX

#34  Jan 25       Connie Vialpando, OR

I personally had some problems with TMJ. It was not a bad case like Jill and others have, but it was and is agonizing. Eating can be horrible when you have extreme problems with it. Please help these people.

#33  Jan 25       Name not displayed, CO

#32  Jan 23       Jay Johnston, CO

The jaw joint is part of anyone's whole health. When damaged, it hurts! Healthcare Reform need consider TMJ (jaw joint disorder) as a true medical condition that clearly, for much of the time, dentistry cannot provide necessary care for. Jill is my friend and I know she's hurting. Current TMJ-D guidelines are ridiculous!

#31  Jan 23       Caroline Countryman, CO

I have witnessed, firsthand, Jill's need for pain relief and treatment/surgery, for she is a close friend of mine, and because of her experience, I've learned of the need for medical insurances, The American Medical Association, and other medical and dental associations to regard the jaw joint (the Temporomandibular joint) as a part of whole-body health. Rules regarding TMJ-Disorder are overdue to recognize this and make the humane choice of insurance coverage for patients.

#30  Jan 18       Kenneth Rash, WA

#29  Jan 15       Martha Leahy, MA

#28  Jan 14       Dan Barber, CO

#27  Jan 14       Name not displayed, CO

#26  Jan 13       Shelley Jo Graham, WY

#25  Jan 13       LK Gertsch, CO

#24  Jan 13       Stan Nicoleta Andrea, Romania

#23  Jan 13       Robert W. Christensen, CO

As an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and more recently Founder and President of TMJ Implants, Inc., I have been intimately involved in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of serious TMJ Disease, whether of a congenital, traumatic or degenerative nature, for the past 60 years. I was the innovator, some 50 years ago, of the Christensen Partial and Total TMJ Implants for the reconstruction of the temporomandibular joint. These were the earliest U.S. Patented TMJ devices and they are used daily in surgeries across the U.S. and Europe. They have functioned very well over the past 50 years and behave much like any other human joint when reconstructed (i.e, hip, knee, shoulder, etc.).

#22  Jan 12       Mark Sweet, WY

#21  Jan 12       Kaylan Vialpando, ID

Not all TMJ is equal. Simple "popping of the jaw" should not be in the same (and dismissed) category as degenerated jaw joint. It's very painful and people shouldn't have to suffer like this.

#20  Jan 12       Beth Whitman, WY

#19  Jan 12       Cynthia Pillow, OK

#18  Jan 11       Gary Smith, CO

#17  Jan 11       Kenneth Esquivel, AZ

#16  Jan 10       Shauneen Kolesarek, NV

#15  Jan 08       Rebecca Stover, AZ

#14  Jan 08       Debbie Lee, AL

#13  Jan 08       Mike Feenaughty, SC

#12  Jan 08       Angelica Rivera, NY

#11  Jan 08       Natasa Moulou, Greece

#10  Jan 08       Kate Medvedeva, Ukraine

#09  Jan 09       Name not displayed, CO

#08  Jan 08       Nona Burnett, LA

Unless you have experienced TMJ or TMJD, you have NO idea what this painful medical condition can do! IT IS NOT SIMPLY A DENTAL PROBLEM! Domestic violence injuries, falls, automobile/motorcycle/bicycle accidents can cause these medical conditions!

#07  Jan 08       Chintin Chen, Taiwan

#06  Jan 07       Giordano Schillaci, Italy

#05  Jan 07       Deborah Smith, HI

#04  Jan 07       Michael Woelfel, TX

#03  Jan 07       Julie Stretch, United Kingdom

#02  Jan 07       Carole Hagen, OR

#01  Jan 07    Jill Johnson, CO

E-mail:   jill@taotouch.us

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