Acupuncture Reduces Pain in Patients with Temporomandibular Joint Disorders. A Systematic Review

Paraskevi Georgakopoulou, Evangelia Anastasiadi, Eleftherios Paraskevopoulos


Aims: Acupuncture is an alternative method used to treat patients with Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). However, it still has not been well established, as an effective and safe option, in literature. This systematic review aims to investigate: (a) the quality of the methodology used in previous Randomized Controlled and Clinical Trials, concerning the effectiveness of acupuncture, in reducing pain, in patients with TMD, (b) the effectiveness of acupuncture, in reducing pain, in patients with TMD. Method: Electronic databases were investigated to identify available Randomized Controlled and Clinical Trials concerning the effectiveness of acupuncture in reducing pain in patients with TMD; Specific criteria were used to select eligible studies; the quality of studies was assessed using the PEDro scale; an evaluation of differences was performed between the qualified studies. Results: A total of ten Randomized Controlled and Clinical trials were included in this systematic review. The methodology used in most studies was determined to be low to moderate. Nine out of ten studies showed statistically significant results in reducing pain. However, acupuncture was not more effective than other therapeutic methods used in most of the studies. Only 2/10 studies revealed that acupuncture was more effective, when compared to other methods. Acupuncture reduced pain faster and the results lasted up to one month, when compared to other methods. Conclusion: Acupuncture is an effective method, in relieving pain, in patients with TMD. There is, however, need for more, qualitatively improved studies in order to verify acupunctures effects in patients with TMD.


Joint Disorder, Temporomandibular, Temporomandibular Joint Disease, Analgesia, Acupuncture, Complementary Medicine, Pain.

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