Patients with chronic pain and especially with craniomandibular disorder (CMD) show specific psychopathology in trait anxiety. In a previous longitudinal functional imaging study on CMD we found that the anterior insula was modulated by successful therapy intervention and pain relief. We here intended to investigate possible associations between anterior insula fMRI-activation during occlusal movements and trait anxiety over a splint therapy approach in patients with CMD. Three fMRI-investigations of a craniomandibular occlusion task were performed together with pain score evaluations and scoring of trait anxiety (State -Trait Anxiety Inventory; STAI) before, after two weeks and after three months of a DIR-mandibular splint therapy in a small group (n = 9) of CMD patients. Patients showed increased anxiety levels before therapy assessed with the STAI and the depression and anxiety scale (DASS). Besides of relevant reduction in pain the STAI decreased over time. Reduction in STAI was associated with anterior insular fMRI-activation reduction on both hemispheres. We conclude that the anxiety driven anticipation of pain related to occlusal trigger is processed in the anterior insula and might therefore be a main driver of therapeutic intervention by the splint therapy in CMD.