This randomized, single-center clinical trial aimed to compare the efficacy of superficial dry needling (SDN) and deep dry needling (DDN) in patients with myofascial temporomandibular disorder (MTMD) related to the masseter muscle.Methods: Forty patients showing MTMD with trigger points in the masseter muscle were randomly assigned to groups. Dry needling of the masseter muscle was performed once per week for three weeks. Pressure pain threshold (PPT) measurements, visual analog scale scores, and maximal jaw opening were assessed.Results: Both patient groups showed significant pain reduction, but the SDN group showed significantly better pain reduction. The PPT measurements obtained in the follow-up examinations at three and six weeks were significantly better than the values in SDN and DDN groups.Discussion: SDN showed better pain-reduction efficacy in patients with MTMD. Further research with a larger size sample and a longer follow-up period will help elucidate the benefits of SDN.
Keywords: Myofascial temporomandibular disorders; deep dry needling; dry needling; masseter; masticatory muscles; myofascial pain; superficial dry needling; trigger points.