Pages 389-398, Language: English
Aims: To investigate whether an international consensus exists among TMD experts regarding indications, performance, follow-up, and effectiveness of jaw exercises.
Methods: A questionnaire with 31 statements regarding jaw exercises was constructed. Fourteen international experts with some geographic dispersion were asked to participate in this Delphi study, and all accepted. The experts were asked to respond to the statements according to a 5-item verbal Likert scale that ranged from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." The experts could also leave free-text comments, which was encouraged. After the first round, the experts received a compilation of the other experts' earlier responses. Some statements were then rephrased and divided to clarify the essence of the statement. Subsequently, the experts were then asked to answer the questionnaire (32 statements) again for the second round. Consensus was set to 80% agreement or disagreement.
Results: There is consensus among TMD experts that jaw exercises are effective and can be recommended to patients with myalgia in the jaw muscles, restricted mouth opening capacity due to hyperactivity in the jaw closing muscles, and disc displacement without reduction. The patients should always be instructed in an individualized jaw exercise program and also receive both verbal advice and written information about the treatment modality.
Conclusion: This Delphi study showed that there is an international consensus among TMD experts that jaw exercises are an effective treatment and can be recommended to patients with TMD pain and disturbed jaw function.
Keywords: Delphi technique, dentistry, jaw exercises, orofacial pain, physical treatment