Effectiveness of low-level laser therapy in temporomandibular disorder

Scand J Rheumatol. 2003;32(2):114-8. doi: 10.1080/03009740310000139.


Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy in the treatment of temporomandibular disorder and to compare treatment effects in myogenic and arthrogenic cases.

Methods: Thirty-five patients were evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging and randomly allocated to active treatment (n=20) and placebo treatment (n= 15) groups. In addition to a daily exercise program, all patients were treated with fifteen sessions of low-level laser therapy. Pain, joint motion, number of joint sounds and tender points were assessed.

Results: Significant reduction in pain was observed in both active and placebo treatment groups. Active and passive maximum mouth opening, lateral motion, number of tender points were significantly improved only in the active treatment group. Treatment effects in myogenic and arthrogenic cases were similar.

Conclusion: Low-level laser therapy can be considered as an alternative physical modality in the management of temporomandibular disorder.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Facial Pain / radiotherapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Temporomandibular Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporomandibular Joint / pathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint / physiopathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / pathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / radiotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome