View the CAT printer-friendly / share this CAT
Title Acupuncture Therapy is Comparable to Splint Therapy for Short Term Results for Temporomandibular Disorder
Clinical Question For a typical patient suffering from temporomandibular disorder, does acupuncture therapy provide significant relief of the symptoms as compared to no treatment at all.
Clinical Bottom Line Acupuncture is an effective alternative therapy for relieving TMD related symptoms. (See Comments on the CAT below)
Best Evidence (you may view more info by clicking on the PubMed ID link)
PubMed ID Author / Year Patient Group Study type
(level of evidence)
#1) 11355435Rosted/2001TMD patients without major psycogenic disease or pathologic condition affecting the TMJSystematic Review
Key resultsThree randomized controlled clinical trials were included in the analysis. All three studies have shown that 4- 6 weeks of acupuncture therapy effectively reduced both the pain level and TMJ dysfunctions when compared to non-treated group. The improvements were comparable to those observed in patient groups treated with occlusal splints.
#2) 20551730La Touche/ 2010TMD patientsSystematic Review
Key resultsFour randomized controlled clinical trials were included in the analysis. All four studies reported short-term improvement of TMD signs and symptoms.
Evidence Search Search "Acupuncture Therapy"[Mesh] AND "Temporomandibular Joint Disorders"[Mesh] Limits: Meta-AnalysisSearch "Acupuncture Therapy"[Mesh] AND "Temporomandibular Joint Disorders"[Mesh] Limits: Randomized Controlled Trial
Comments on
The Evidence
In general, there is a lack of standardization in the treatment method from one study to another and the lack of long-term studies. In some studies, the acupoints selected were individuality customized to each patient while other studies used the same point for each patient. Although some acupoints were consistently used among different studies. Studies only evaluated acupuncture's short-term benefits.
Applicability The evidence available seems to support the effectiveness of acupuncture in providing short-term benefits for TMD signs and symptoms.
Specialty/Discipline (General Dentistry)
Keywords Temporomandibular disorder, TMD therapy, Acupuncture
ID# 601
Date of submission: 05/03/2010spacer Revised: 08/23/2011
E-mail zhux3@uthscsa.livemail.edu
Author Xiaoxu Zhu
Co-author(s) e-mail
Faculty mentor/Co-author Edward F. Wright, DDS, MS
Faculty mentor/Co-author e-mail WrightE2@uthscsa.edu
Basic Science Rationale
(Mechanisms that may account for and/or explain the clinical question, i.e. is the answer to the clinical question consistent with basic biological, physical and/or behavioral science principles, laws and research?)
post a rationale
None available
Comments and Evidence-Based Updates on the CAT
post a comment
by Bryan Rathke, Mayra Fuentes, Kyle Meason (San Antonio, TX) on 01/07/2013
A PubMed search on acupuncture for treatment of TMD signs and symptoms was performed January 2013. A more recent study was found: Jung 2011, PMID 21354460 . This study is a meta-analysis of 7 RCTs, which demonstrates there is inconclusive evidence to support the use of acupuncture therapy to treat TMD signs and symptoms. Further research is recommended prior to clinical application.

Return to Found CATs list