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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;788:181-8. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-6627-3_27.

Occlusal stabilization splint therapy in orofacial pain and tension-type headache.

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Department of Prosthodontics, Medical University of Warsaw, 59 Nowogrodzka St., Bldg. XIA, 02-006, Warsaw, Poland,


Studies suggest an association between orofacial pain, accompanying temporomandibular disorders of myogenous origin, and headache, especially its tension-type. The occlusal appliance therapy is one of the options for the treatment of orofacial pain due to masticatory muscles tenderness. The aim of the present study was to assess the effectiveness of occlusal stabilization splint therapy in myofascial pain and tension-type headache in patients with sleep-disordered breathing. Forty three such patients were enrolled into the study group. The patients were treated with stabilization occlusal splint of vertical thickness at vertical jaw separation, established individually for each patient using a cephalometric analysis. The intensity of orofacial pain (numeric rating scale) and headache (analog rating scale), frequency of headache (%), and jaw qualitative function were assessed at baseline and after 2 and 6 months. Medians of headache and orofacial pain intensity were reduced after 6 months of treatment compared with baseline: 6.0 vs. 2.0 (p < 0.0001) and 6.0 vs. 1.0 (p < 0.0001), respectively. Pain decreased below 3 score points in 61.8 % of the patients with headache (p = 0.23) and in 85.3 % of patients with orofacial pain (p < 0.0001). Overall, the improvement in both signs and symptoms of orofacial pain was observed 81.4 % of patients after using occlusal stabilization splint for 6 months. We conclude that occlusal stabilization splint was effective in reducing painful symptoms of temporomandibular disorders of myogenous origin, a frequent feature of sleep disordered breathing.

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