Conservative treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders

...is it effective?

Many interventions are used in the management of patients suffering from Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), but the clinical effectiveness of these non-surgical therapies is not well-documented.

With an estimated 6-12% of the general population - predominantly women - struggling with TMD, there is an important role for non-surgical clinical management.

In this systematic review with meta-analysis, 23 RCTs investigating the effectiveness of conservative treatment for TMD are included. The results show evidence of improvement of two of the most common symptoms: pain reduction and mouth opening.

The available evidence indicates that the successrate of non-surgical management of TMDs can be up to 70% effective with the use of pharmacological interventions, physiotherapy, and counseling, and surgical interventions can result in a treatment succes of up to 83%.

While this review highlights that conservative treatment can be effective to improve pain and limitation in mouth opening, the authors conclude that further research is needed to established a well-balance protocol for conservative treatment.

Nevertheless, it is worth noting that simple and low-cost interventions initially can have a positive impact on TMDs that are most commonly seen in a clinical context.

> From: Nandhini et al., Dent Res J 15 (2018) 231-241 . All rights reserved to Dental Research Journal. Click here for the online summary. Translation by Jessica Povall

Expert opinion

Over the past 20 years, the management of TMDs it has become clear that a combined approach, as described in this article, yields a better outcome for the patient.

It is well known in recent literature that a multidisciplinary approach, including dental, orthodontic, physiotherapy, as well as pharmacological input, will help the patient best manage an otherwise very complex condition.

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