Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorders (TMJDs) refers to a complex and poorly understood set of conditions that can cause pain in the area of the jaw joint and associated muscles and/or problems using the jaw. Both or just one of the TM joints may be affected. TMJDs can affect a person's ability to speak, eat, chew, swallow, make facial expressions, and even breathe.
Experimental Studies of Influences on Healing Process of Mandibular Defect Stimulated by Microcurrent
Tomoya Ohno, Shikwa Gakuho, #82 1982
Summary: 50 uA current pulses were applied to one side of the jaws of a group of dogs with lesions in their jaws. The other side was untreated. The dogs were examined at periods of 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, 42 and 56 days.
Results: "It seems likely that direct microcurrent promotes normal bone formation within the defective area and accelerates the osseous healing process. Prolonged application of electrical stimulus promotes a remarkable bone remodeling mechanism."
Trigger Point Identification and Treatment with Microcurrent
DuPont, The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice, October 1999, Vol. 17, #4
Summary: This article gives the author's techniques for locating and stimulating trigger points (TP's) using a microcurrent stimulator, specifically for the treatment of temporomandibular disorders. He states that electrical conductivity is highest over trigger points, and galvanic skin response (GSR) testing can be used to locate such points. He utilizes probe electrodes to treat small TP's, and pad electrodes to treat larger ones. Probe treatment is delivered @ 0.3 Hz, 20 - 40 uA, with treatment time of 10 - 30 seconds per site. He suggests administering treatment in 24-48 intervals, and states that results should be seen within 2 - 3 treatments. He acknowledges that these protocols are not necessarily the best ones, but work well for his practice.
Clinical Comparative Study of Microcurrent Electrical Stimulation to Mid-Laser and Placebo Treatment in Degenerative Joint Disease of the Temporomandibular Joint
Bertolucci and Grey, Journal of Craniomandibular Practice, 1995
Summary: 48 patients were divided into three groups, some receiving placebo, some microcurrent and some laser to treat pain of TMJ syndrome. Both microcurrent and laser were found to be significantly more effective than placebo, with laser slightly more effective than microcurrent. The author acknowledges that lasers are not legally sold in the United States for this purpose, and that microcurrent's easy accessibility makes it more practical for practitioners here.