Aim: The aim of this work was to evaluate if the use of a silicone device for muscular rebalancing (Alifix®) can be useful in treating of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) of muscular origin and improving the electromyographic indexes of the chewing muscles.
Materials and methods: Thirteen patients (11 F and 2 M aged between 24 years and 65 years) with TMD of muscular origin according to diagnostic criteria (DC)/TMD were involved. At the first visit (T0), each patient reported the pain intensity of masseters and temporal muscles. A surface electromyography (EMG) was performed using Teethan® (Teethan S.p.A.) and then Alifix® was delivered instructing the patient on its use. Each subject was visited again after 1 month (T1) and 2 months (T2). New EMG had been made at T1 and T2, and patients were asked again to report the pain intensity. Statistical analysis was calculated between T0 and T1, T1 and T2, and T0 and T2 for all EMG, and muscle pain measurements by Wilcoxon test with statistical significance p < 0.05.
Results: Regarding the pain values between T0 and T1, T1 and T2, and T0 and T2, the difference is statistically significant, since the intensity of pain between T0 and T2 is decreased, if not disappeared, in 90% of cases. The use of Alifix® also determined a gradual improvement in the values of the EMG indexes, which, however, is not statistically significant.
Conclusion: The effectiveness of Alifix® is demonstrated clinically but not at an instrumental level. Further studies involving a larger sample and taking longer therapy duration are needed.
Clinical significance: Alifix® works by improving the blood circulation of the muscle, which allows the removal of catabolites with a consequent reduction of the algic symptomatology and promotes a greater supply of oxygen. It also encourages a conversion of IIA type muscle fibers into slow-twitch type I fibers that are more resistant to neuromuscular fatigue.
Keywords: Alifix; Electromyography; Muscle pain; Oral osteopathy Temporomandibular disorders..