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Acupuncture may be an effective way of reducing pain in patients with temporomandibular disorder (TMD), Brazilian investigators conclude. Thirty-six patients diagnosed with masticatory myofascial pain were divided into acupuncture and non-penetrating sham acupuncture groups. Treatment was performed weekly for five weeks. Needles were inserted bilaterally at Hegu L.I.-4, Yanglingquan GB-34, Zusanli ST-36, Quanliao SI-18, Tinggong SI-19, Jiache ST-6, Xiaguam ST-7 and Fengchi GB-20. In the control group, subjects underwent a non-penetrating simulated acupuncture procedure which involved stimulating the skin superficially to generate a light pricking sensation. The acupuncture group showed a significant reduction in pain, which was not observed in the control group. Pain intensity in the verum treatment group was found to be reduced by 61% one week after the end of the five-week acupuncture treatment course, and by 84% one month after the end of acupuncture treatment. Both acupuncture and control groups showed significant improvements in mandibular function and oral health-related quality of life over time.

Acupuncture for pain, mandibular function and oral health-related quality of life in patients with masticatory myofascial pain: A randomised controlled trial. J Oral Rehabil. 2020 Oct;47(10):1193-1201.