To summarize the data from randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Four independent computerized literature searches were performed. Only randomized trials were admitted in which acupuncture was tested vs sham acupuncture, standard therapy, or no treatment at all. Data were extracted in a predefined, standardized fashion.
Six reports met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, representing 3 distinct trials. Overall, their results suggest that acupuncture might be an effective therapy for temporomandibular joint dysfunction. However, none of the studies was designed to control for a placebo effect.
Even though all studies are in accordance with the notion that acupuncture is effective for temporomandibular joint dysfunction, this hypothesis requires confirmation through more rigorous investigations.