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December 2019

Cranio. 1992 Oct; 10(4): 318-24; discussion 324-6.

Adverse events of acupuncture and occlusal splint therapy in the treatment of craniomandibular disorders.

List T, Helkimo M.

Institute for Post-Graduate Dental Education, Jönköping, Sweden.

Occlusal splint therapy and acupuncture have been found to provide positive treatment in a number of studies. As with other therapies, adverse events may occur. In this paper, adverse event refers to any reaction to a treatment besides the intended treatment effect--irrespective of any correlation between the treatment and the reaction. This reaction can be positive, as well as negative, to the patient. In the present study, 61 patients with craniomandibular dysfunction (CMD) were treated with acupuncture or occlusal splint therapy and the adverse events were carefully recorded. The results show that the profile of the adverse events differed between the two treatment modes. Acupuncture seemed to have adverse events of a more general nature, e.g., relaxed feeling, improved sleep, temporarily increased pain; whereas, adverse events of occlusal splint therapy seemed to be more locally related to the orofacial region, e.g., increased/decreased salivation and tension in the teeth. The majority of the patients responded positively to both treatment modalities. Only in a few cases did the patients consider the treatment uncomfortable. No serious adverse event or complication was observed in this study.


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