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Avances en Odontoestomatología

versão On-line ISSN 2340-3152versão impressa ISSN 0213-1285


MEEDER BELLA, W et al. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation as a complement to conventional therapy in patients with temporomandibular disorders: a case-control study. Av Odontoestomatol [online]. 2020, vol.36, n.4, pp.208-217.  Epub 21-Dez-2020. ISSN 2340-3152.


For temporomandibular disorders (TMD), conservative therapies, including conventional therapy, are the first line of treatment, and the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) has also been reported. The aim of this study was to determine the therapeutic response to TENS as complement to conventional therapy compared with patients receiving conventional therapy exclusively.


A retrospective study was carried out with patients diagnosed with TMD, treated at the Clinic of Specialties of the Dental School of Universidad de Valparaíso, between 2009 and 2012. Of 231 patients, 63 met the inclusion criteria and were randomly allocated to a conventional therapy group (controls) and a coadjuvant TENS group (cases). Both were evaluated for pain in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and masseters, active opening without pain, forced active opening, passive opening, and occlusal force. Statistical analysis was performed with Kruskal-Wallis, Wilcoxon and Spearman tests.


For TENS group, significant differences were found for pain in the right and left TMJ, pain in the right and left masseter, active opening without pain, and occlusal force. For the conventional group, the same results were obtained, except for pain in right TMJ. For the variables measured immediately after applying TENS, significant differences were found in all pain variables. Correlations were established with age, active opening without pain, forced active opening, and passive opening.


Conventional therapy and TENS-complemented therapy showed good therapeutic response, concluding that TENS is a good complement to conventional therapy.

Palavras-chave : TMD; visual analog scale; mouth opening; masticatory force; complementary therapy.

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