Effects of glucosamine supplements on painful temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis: A systematic review

J Oral Rehabil. 2018 May;45(5):414-422. doi: 10.1111/joor.12616. Epub 2018 Mar 2.


The purpose of this study was to systematically review the literature for studies that assessed the effects of glucosamine supplements (GS) on pain and maximum mouth opening (MMO) restriction compared to other therapies, placebo or no intervention on painful temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis (TMJ OA). Randomised controlled trials were selected in a two-phase process. Seven electronic databases, in addition to three grey literature databases, were searched. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias in randomised trials. Twelve potentially eligible studies were identified, from which three were finally included. Furthermore, two were categorised at low risk and one at high risk of bias. Intervention groups were treated with glucosamine-sulphate, while controls were treated with placebo or ibuprofen. In two studies, GS were equally effective regarding pain reduction and mouth opening improvement compared to ibuprofen taken two or three times a day over 12 weeks; however, one study did not find significant differences in follow-up evaluations concerning these clinical variables in both glucosamine and placebo groups administered over six weeks. There is very low evidence regarding GS therapeutic effects on TMJ OA. Considering a follow-up of 12 weeks, GS were as effective as ibuprofen taken two or three times a day. However, over six weeks of medication intake, GS were not superior to placebo. Still, included studies presented major drawbacks, and therefore, conclusions must be interpreted with caution.

Keywords: evidence-based dentistry; glucosamine; osteoarthritis; systematic review; temporomandibular joint; temporomandibular joint disorders.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthralgia / drug therapy*
  • Arthralgia / physiopathology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Glucosamine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / drug therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Temporomandibular Joint / drug effects*
  • Temporomandibular Joint / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucosamine