Psychological discomfort, physical disability and functional limitations of the orofacial system have a major impact on everyday life of patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). A variety of therapies has been described in literature for its management. The present study is a prospective study carried out to evaluate the efficacy of occlusal splint therapy and compare it with pharmacotherapy (using analgesics and muscle relaxants) in the management of Myofascial Pain Dysfunction Syndrome.
Materials and Methods: Forty patients in the age range of 17-55 years were included in the study and randomly assigned to one of two equally sized groups, A and B. Group A patients received a combination of muscle relaxants and analgesics while Group B patients received soft occlusal splint therapy. All the patients were evaluated for VAS, maximum comfortable mouth opening, TMJ clicking and tenderness during rest and movement as well as for the number of tender muscles at the time of diagnosis, after the 1st week of initiation of therapy and every month for three months of follow-up.
Results: There was a progressive decrease in number of tender muscles, TMJ clicking and tenderness with various jaw movements and significant improvement in mouth opening in patients on occlusal splint therapy during the follow-up period as compared to the pharmacotherapy group.
Conclusion: Occlusal splint therapy has better long-term results in reducing the symptoms of MPDS. It has better patient compliance, fewer side effects, and is more cost-effective than pharmacotherapy; hence, it can be chosen for the treatment of patients with MPDS.