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Br Dent J. 2009 Dec 19;207(12):E26. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2009.959. Epub 2009 Oct 30.

Immediate effects of microsystem acupuncture in patients with oromyofacial pain and craniomandibular disorders (CMD): a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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  • 1CAM in dentistry, Bregenz, Austria.



Patients presenting with oromyofacial disorders and pain in the head and neck area are often resistant to conventional therapy. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in pain reduction.


Twenty-three patients with craniomandibular disorders, headache and, in particular, local pain in the orofacial, cervical and temporomandibular joint areas were randomised into acupuncture or placebo laser therapy groups. Pain was assessed by a visual analogue scale (VAS) and by palpation of 14 muscles and groups of muscles immediately before and after treatment, the assessor being blinded to the patients' allocation. Applicable acupuncture points were searched and pricked using the 'very-point' technique.


Pain reduction measured by VAS was significantly more pronounced after acupuncture than after placebo treatment (p=0.031). Sum of pain scores across 14 muscles was considerably more reduced after acupuncture as compared to sham laser treatment.


Acupuncture may bring about immediate pain relief in patients with oromyofacial disorders, increasing the chance to initiate other therapeutic measures.

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