Brazilian Journal of Pain
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Review Article

Self-care, education, and awareness of the patient with temporomandibular disorder: a systematic review

Giovanna Pimentel; Daniel Bonotto; Priscila Brenner Hilgenberg-Sydney

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Temporomandibular disorder consists of a variety of conditions associated with pain and dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint, masticatory muscles and associated structures. Self-care clinical protocols are commonly used as initial therapy for temporomandibular disorder patients after diagnosis as a conservative and non-invasive approach. This review aimed to study the self-care techniques in the literature and its efficacy.

CONTENTS: This was a systematic review of the literature, with a survey in the databases Science Direct and Pubmed, in addition to the gray literature, Google Scholar. The following descriptors were used: “self-care”, “temporomandibular dysfunction” and “counseling”. Articles in English and Portuguese published between 2010 and 2018 were included. Twenty-one articles were selected based on a series of inclusion and exclusion criteria.

CONCLUSION: There are two main objectives in the treatment of temporomandibular disorder patients, the reduction of pain and improvement of function. It was concluded that self-care therapies are effective in achieving these goals, in addition to being low-tech and non-invasive. Patients who actively participate in their healing process present faster improvements, by altering their general perception of pain.


Conservative treatment, Protocols, Temporomandibular joint disorders


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