Longitudinal study of signs and symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction after conservative treatment with stabilizing splints by undergraduate students


  • Luis Cláudio Botelho Centro Universitário de Lavras
  • Michel Reis Messora Centro Universitário de Lavras / Universidade de São Paulo
  • Cássio Vicente Pereira Centro Universitário de Lavras
  • Stela Márcia Pereira Centro Universitário de Lavras / Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Leandro Silva Marques Universidade Vale do Rio Verde
  • Luciano José Pereira Centro Universitário de Lavras / Universidade Federal de Lavras




Temporomandibular joint disorders, Occlusal splints, Musculoskeletal system


Aim: To make a longitudinal evaluation of occlusal splint therapy in patients with Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD) who received dental care at a Dentistry undergraduate Program.

Materials and Methods: Individuals were examined clinically using the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/ TMD) international index at the time of the patient’s first dental appointment (T0) and were reevaluated 6 months after the beginning of treatment with stabilizing splints (T1). Sixteen patients participated in the two evaluations. Eighty-eight percent of the examined patients were female. The following parameters were evaluated: 1) Pain: through the VAS scale (pain at the moment of evaluation, average pain in the last the 6 months, and worst pain in last the 6 months); 2) Amplitude of mandibular movements (maximal opening, protusive and lateral excursions); 3) Joint sounds (click, crepitus); and 4) Mastication muscles and temporomandibular joint tenderness. The referent data on pain, mandibular movements, and severity of muscular tenderness were compared between the two moments using either the paired “t” test or the Wilcoxon test. Pearson’s Correlation test was carried out between the variables of pain and mandibular movements. The significance index was adjusted in p<0.05.

Results: Significant improvement could be observed between the two sessions for variables related to pain and mandibular movements (p<0.05), not including protrusion (p<0.438). A significant negative correlation could only be observed between the average pain and the amplitude of the mouth opening before treatment (p<0.05). After the treatment, this correlation did not continue (p>0.05).

Conclusions: The use of stabilizing splints promoted a significant improvement regarding the pain and the amplitude of mandibular movement, proving to be an efficient treatment to be performed in undergraduate dental care clinics for patients with myofascial pain and disc displacement.


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How to Cite

Botelho, L. C., Messora, M. R., Pereira, C. V., Pereira, S. M., Marques, L. S., & Pereira, L. J. (2016). Longitudinal study of signs and symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction after conservative treatment with stabilizing splints by undergraduate students. Arquivos Em Odontologia, 48(2). https://doi.org/10.7308/aodontol/2012.48.2.03




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