The efficacy of dextrose prolotherapy over placebo for temporomandibular joint hypermobility: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Oral Rehabil. 2018 Dec;45(12):998-1006. doi: 10.1111/joor.12698. Epub 2018 Aug 3.


Objective: The aim of the systematic review was to analyse the available evidence in order to assess the efficacy of dextrose prolotherapy in improving outcomes in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) hypermobility patients as compared to placebo.

Methods: An electronic search of PubMed, Scopus, CENTRAL and Google scholar databases was performed for English language papers published up to February 2018. Randomised clinical trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs) comparing dextrose prolotherapy with placebo for TMJ hypermobility were included.

Results: Three RCTs were included in the review. Frequency of subluxation/dislocation was reported by two trials which found no difference between dextrose and placebo. A statistical significant difference in reduction of MMO with the use of dextrose prolotherapy was seen on pooling of data (random: MD = -3.32, 95% CI -5.26 to -1.28; P = 0.0008; I2 = 0%). A statistical significant difference in pain reduction was also seen with dextrose as compared to placebo (random: MD = -1, 95% CI -1.58 to -0.42; P = 0.0007; I2 = 0%).

Conclusion: Within the limitations of the study, dextrose prolotherapy may cause significant reduction in mouth opening and pain associated with TMJ hypermobility. Conclusions with regard to reduction of episodes of subluxation/dislocation cannot be drawn. There is a need of more high-quality RCTs with larger sample size and homogenous prolotherapy protocol to draw stronger conclusions on the effect of dextrose prolotherapy in patients with TMJ hypermobility.

Keywords: dextrose; dislocation; joint hypermobility; meta-analysis; prolotherapy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Facial Pain / drug therapy*
  • Facial Pain / physiopathology
  • Glucose Solution, Hypertonic / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Joint Instability / drug therapy*
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology
  • Prolotherapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Glucose Solution, Hypertonic