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Volume 9 , Issue 2
Spring 1995

Pages 192-199

A randomized clinical trial of intraoral soft splints and palliative treatment for masticatory muscle pain


PMID: 7488989

Thirty subjects seeking treatment for masticatory muscle pain at a university based TMJ clinic were randomly assigned to soft-splint, palliative-treatment, and no-treatment groups. After 4 to 11 weeks of treatment, subjects were evaluated for changes from their baselinelevels of symptoms, maximum pain-free opening, pain thresholds measured by a pressure algometer, and occlusal contacts. With the use of the multivariate analysis of variance and analysis of covariance, the results suggest that the soft-splint group had statistically significant improvement (p<.01), the palliative-treatment group had improvement that was not statistically significant, and the no-treatment group had a slight aggravation of symptoms. The soft-splint group had fewer occlusal contact changes assessed with shimstock sompared to the palliative-treatment and no-treatment groups. The findings of this study suggest that the soft splint is an effective short-term treatment for reducing the signs and symptoms of masticatory muscle pain in patients, and the soft splint does not cause occlusal changes.

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