Objectives. The aim of this study was to assess the therapeutic efficiency of the occlusal stabilization appliance (OSA) in patients with cervical dystonia (CD).

Methods. The study included 11 patients aged between 29 and 80 years, 7 women and 4 men, diagnosed with primary CD. The patients underwent an extra- and intra-oral clinical examination, followed by para-clinical examinations, necessary for the specifications of the OSA. The following data were recorded: demographic parameters, CD duration, management of the disease, dental impression, recording of the centric relationship, recording of the position of the upper jaw with the facial bow. A standardized OSA was manufactured in a private dental laboratory. Patients received instructions for wearing the OSA for 24 hours. Patients filled a questionnaire designed by us, which evaluated the effects of wearing the OSA over a 24-hours period on the symptoms of CD: muscles contraction, pain, discomfort while walking, sleep quality, tremor. The patients kept the dental appliances, and after three months they completed the questionnaire one more time.

Results. The OSA was applied on the lower arch in 3 (27.3%) patients and on the upper arch in 8 (72.7%) patients. The OSA wearing time for the first 24 h was on average 19.2±6 hours. Total relaxation of dystonic muscles was reported by 9 (81.8%) patients, while 2 (18.2%) patients related partial muscle relaxation. Seven (63.6%) patients reported a pain decrease. Increased comfort while walking was observed by 8 (72.7%) patients. Two (18.2%) patients described an increase of sleep quality. In two (18.2%) patients the tremor disappeared. All patients reported difficulties while eating and removed the OSA during meals. Patients who wore the OSA for more hours, experienced a pain decrease (p=0.08), an increase in sleep quality (p=0.1), the disappearance of the tremor (p=0.1). After three months, only seven patients continued to use the OSA. More patients described a pain decrease after three months (5 (71.4%) vs. 4 (57.1%); p=0.5), relaxation of dystonic muscles (7 (100%) vs. 6 (85.7%); p=0.3).

Conclusions. The use of OSA might be beneficial in CD patients, as it reduced the dystonic symptoms, pain severity and improved the quality of sleep.


masticatory system, temporomandibular disorder, occlusal stabilization appliance, cervical dystonia, muscle relaxation