J Prosthet Dent. 1986 Nov; 56(5): 616-23.
Acupuncture compared with stomatognathic treatment for TMJ dysfunction. Part III: Effect of treatment on mobility.
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of acupuncture and stomatognathic treatment on the mobility of the mandible in random samples of patients with TMJ dysfunction. One group of 25 patients was treated with acupuncture performed by a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation and a second similar group received standard stomatognathic treatment. All of the patients were evaluated in terms of the Helkimo dysfunction index by a dentist before treatment, within 1 week of treatment, and 3 months after treatment. No significant differences could be detected in painful movement of the mandible except in retrusive movement, wherein stomatognathic treatment was clearly superior immediately afterward. Acupuncture seems to be a useful early form of therapy in patients with TMJ disorders that are expected to be largely functional and reversible and with evidence of psychophysiologic or neuromuscular disturbances but not of any marked occlusal interference or joint damage. Acupuncture could well be complementary to stomatognathic treatment, either preceding or following it, to achieve full neuromuscular rehabilitation, to ease the treatment (for example, occlusal splints), or to eliminate other possible contributory factors.