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Journal of Craniomandibular Function



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J CranioMand Func 6 (2014), No. 3     14. Oct. 2014
J CranioMand Func 6 (2014), No. 3  (14.10.2014)

Open Access Page 207-230, Language: English/German

Splint therapy for temporomandibular disorders: basic principles
Schindler, Hans J. / Hugger, Alfons / Kordaß, Bernd / Türp, Jens Christoph
Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are the most common non-odontogenic causes of pain in the maxillofacial region. Like nonspecific musculoskeletal pain in other parts of the body, they have a multifactorial etiology. Occlusal splint therapy is one of the best-studied treatment options for the management of TMDs. Intraoral appliances usually result in satisfactory short- and long-term pain relief or reduction in the majority of patients with acute or persistent acute TMD. This can, for the most part, be attributed to neuromuscular and biomechanical characteristics of the masticatory system that promote functional reorganization processes in the affected muscle and joint structures, which are reflected in cortical activity. Temporary changes in the position of the mandible within the physiologically tolerable range that decrease stresses on the affected tissues and encourage their regeneration trigger such functional adaptations. Cases in which TMD pain has become chronic and is causing significant psychosocial impairment show limited response to splint therapy alone and therefore require interdisciplinary multi- modal treatment.

Keywords: Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs), myogenous and arthrogenous, myalgia, myofascial pain, treatment recommendations