Effectiveness of Low-Level Laser Therapy in Temporomandibular Joint Disorders: A Placebo-Controlled Study

Authors: H. FIKÁCKOVÁ, M.D., ˇ 1,2 T. DOSTÁLOVÁ, M.D., Prof., Dr.Sci., M.B.A.,3 L. NAVRÁTIL, M.D., Ph.D.,1,4 and J. KLASCHKA, R.N.Dr., Ph.D.1,5
Source: Photomedicine and Laser Surgery Volume 25, Number 4, 2007
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Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) treatment for pain caused by temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) was investigated in a controlled study comparing applied energy density, subgroups of TMD, and du- ration of disorders.

Background Data

Although LLLT is a physical therapy used in the treatment of muscu- loskeletal disorders, there is little evidence for its effectiveness in the treatment of TMD. Methods: The study group of 61 patients was treated with 10 J/cm2 or 15 J/cm2, and the control group of 19 patients was treated with 0.1 J/cm2. LLLT was performed by a GaAlAs diode laser with output of 400 mW emitting radiation wavelength of 830 nm in 10 sessions. The probe with aperture 0.2 cm2 was placed over the painful muscle spots in the patients with myofascial pain. In patients with TMD arthralgia the probe was placed behind, in front of, and above the mandibular condyle, and into the meatus acusticus externus. Changes in pain were evaluated by self-administered questionnaire.


Application of 10 J/cm2 or 15 J/cm2 was significantly more effective in reducing pain compared to placebo, but there were no significant differences between the energy densities used in the study group and between patients with myofascial pain and temporomandibular joint arthralgia. Results were marked in those with chronic pain.


The results suggest that LLLT (application of 10 J/cm2 and 15 J/cm2) can be considered as a useful method for the treatment of TMD-re- lated pain, especially long lasting pain.

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