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Revista Dor

Print version ISSN 1806-0013

Abstract

GROSSMANN, Eduardo; TAMBARA, Joseane Steckel; GROSSMANN, Thiago Kreutz  and  SIQUEIRA, José Tadeu Tesseroli de. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Rev. dor [online]. 2012, vol.13, n.3, pp.271-276. ISSN 1806-0013.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1806-00132012000300013.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD) is a term to describe a group of diseases functionally affecting the masticatory system, especially masticatory muscles and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It has different etiologies and specific treatments, among them the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). This article aimed at reviewing the scientific literature on the use of TENS in TMJD patients. CONTENTS: Epidemiological studies show that approximately 75% of people have some TMJD sign, while 33% have at least one symptom. Whenever possible, one should treat the cause of pain. When it is impossible to determine its etiology, one should start with less invasive and reversible procedures, especially for pain and muscle dysfunction. TENS therapy consists of administering electrical current to the skin surface, to relax hyperactive muscles and promote pain relief. CONCLUSION: Although there are controversies about the use of TENS to control chronic pain, its use for masticatory muscle pain is still relevant. However, an accurate diagnosis is needed to prevent its inadequate use. We still need controlled randomized studies including selected samples to homogenize the use of TENS in TMJD patients.

Keywords : Miofascial pain; Orofacial pain; Temporomandibular joint dysfunction; Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation; Trigger-points.

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