Management of Long Standing Temporomandibular Dysfunction in an Edentulous Patient with Gunning Type Splint: A Clinical Case Report


  • Oluwafeyisayo Francis IKUSIKA Department of Restorative Dentistry, Bayero University Kano/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano.
  • Olugbenga Adetokunboh ADENUGA-TAIWO Department of Restorative Dentistry, Lagos State University/Lagos State University Teaching Hospital Lagos.
  • Chibuzor Emmanuel IGWEAGU Department of Restorative Dentistry, Bayero University Kano/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano.


Gunning type splints, Temporomandibular dysfunction, Temporomandibular Joint


Objective: The aetiology of   temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) is multifactorial and controversial. It is associated with pain, clicking sounds and structural derangement within the joints. TMDs are believed to be a complex interaction between the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the masticatory muscles, and possibly the occlusion of the teeth. The prevalence of TMDs in edentulous populations is similar to that in the dentate population. The objective of this study was to observe the effect of altering occlusal vertical dimension on the course of TMD and the overall rehabilitation of an edentulous patient.

Clinical Case Report: This work reports a treatment protocol on a single edentulous woman with TMD. It was carried out at a tertiary centre in Kano, Nigeria. A misdiagnosed, and wrongly treated patient was referred to the prosthodontic clinic at this centre. Clinical and radiological assessments suggested a diagnosis of TMJ arthrosis secondary to neglected TMD. Gunning type splints were used to reduce pressure on the TMJs. Thereafter, conventional complete dentures were prescribed. The symptoms of TMD began to reduce after about 4 weeks and were self-reported to have completely disappeared after 12 weeks of treatment. Treatment with splint therapy was effective and patient was successfully rehabilitated.

Conclusion: In this study, success was achieved with the use of splint therapy in the treatment of TMD. Gunning type splints are a viable option for splint therapy in the edentulous.