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Effect of Dry Needling on the Masseter Muscle in the Tinnitus Perception of Patients with Temporomandibular Disorder

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To evaluate the effect of dry needling on the masseter muscle in the perception of tinnitus in patients with temporomandibular disorder.


Twenty-five patients with tinnitus and muscular temporomandibular disorders were randomly assigned to groups study (n = 13) and control (n = 12). Three sessions of dry needling (study) and sham (control) were performed. Follow-up was performed 30, 60 and 90 days after the end of treatment. The Analog Visual Scale and Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) were used to evaluate the treatment.


In study group, 76.9% presented a reduction in the intensity and tinnitus discomfort and total THI. In control group, 66.7% presented a decrease in tinnitus intensity and total THI, and 58.3% reported a decrease in tinnitus discomfort. After 90 days, in the study group, 84.6% maintained improvement in pain intensity and reduction in THI score and 69.2% reported improvement in both intensity and discomfort caused by tinnitus. In control group, 75% achieved improvement in pain intensity, 33.2% maintained improvement in tinnitus intensity, and 41.7% maintained improvement in discomfort caused by tinnitus and total THI. In the total THI score, the study group presented improvement (p = 0.041).


Dry needling combined with counseling was associated with improvement in pain intensity and tinnitus, decrease in tinnitus discomfort and reduction in total THI score.

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This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001.

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Correspondence to Katia Sirikaku.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Research Ethics Committee of Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, number 1508/2016 and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Sirikaku, K., Watinaga, G.K., de Souza Moraes, S. et al. Effect of Dry Needling on the Masseter Muscle in the Tinnitus Perception of Patients with Temporomandibular Disorder. J. Maxillofac. Oral Surg. 22, 571–578 (2023).

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