A follow-up study of subjective symptoms of temporomandibular disorders in patients who received acupuncture and/or interocclusal appliance therapy 18-20 years earlier

Acta Odontol Scand. 2008 Apr;66(2):88-92. doi: 10.1080/00016350801978660.


Objective: To evaluate the presence of symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) in patients referred to a specialist clinic because of muscular problems 18-20 years earlier and who had received mainly acupuncture and/or interocclusal appliance therapy.

Material and methods: Sixty-five subjects who had received therapy at a TMD specialist clinic 18-20 years earlier were mailed a questionnaire with questions about TMD symptoms, their attitude towards the therapy, and their opinion about the outcome. Fifty-five subjects (85%) answered and returned the questionnaire.

Results: Before therapy, 87% had had severe TMD symptoms, but this figure decreased to 38% at the long-term follow-up. The mean values of the subjects' complaints at worst and at best before treatment, measured with a visual analog scale, were 66 (range 26-100) and 31 (range 0-100), respectively. The corresponding figures at the long-term follow-up were 32 (range 0-96) and 16 (range 0-70). Headache at least once a week was originally reported by 73% of the women and by 77% of the men. Headache prevalence 18-20 years later was 35% in women and 54% in men. The majority of patients were positive about the therapy they had received, and would recommend it to a friend with similar complaints.

Conclusions: A majority of the patients reported a lasting improvement in their symptoms. Patients' overall opinions of the therapy received were positive.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occlusal Splints*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Self-Assessment
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / complications
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / psychology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / therapy*