Is bruxism severity a predictor of oral splint efficacy in patients with myofascial face pain

Karen G. Raphael, J. J. Marbach, J. J. Klausner, M. F. Teaford, D. K. Fischoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Both the efficacy and mechanism of any effect of oral splint therapy for patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are a matter of controversy. To address these issues, this study tested the hypothesis that oral splints produce the most marked pain relief for those TMD patients with myofascial face pain (MFP) who also brux (i.e. grind or clench) more than other MFP patients. In a 6-week randomized controlled clinical trial, 52 women with MFP were randomly assigned to receive either a full-coverage hard acrylic splint or a palatal-only splint. Bruxism was assessed both by self-report and by an objective assessment of molar microwear changes over a 2-week period prior to the start of the trial. Tested across multiple outcome measures, results indicated that those receiving the full-coverage splint had marginally better improvement on some pain-related measures than those receiving the palatal splint, but severity of bruxism did not moderate the therapeutic effect of the full-coverage splint. These findings strongly argue against the belief that oral splints reduce MFP by reducing bruxism and raise questions about the importance of bruxism in the maintenance of MFP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-29
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of oral rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Attrition
  • Bruxism
  • Myofascial face pain
  • Oral splints
  • Orofacial pain
  • Temporomandibular disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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