Efficacy of Low Level Laser Therapy in the Treatment of Burning Mouth Syndrome: A Systematic Review

Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther. 2017 Mar;17:188-193. doi: 10.1016/j.pdpdt.2016.11.017. Epub 2016 Dec 2.


Background: Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a chronic pain condition with indefinite cure, predominantly affecting post-menopausal women. The aim of this study was to systematically review the efficacy of low level laser therapy in the treatment of burning mouth syndrome (BMS).

Methods: PubMed, Embase and Scopus were searched from date of inception till and including October 2016 using various combinations of the following keywords: burning mouth syndrome, BMS, stomatodynia, laser therapy, laser treatment and phototherapy. The inclusion criteria were: Prospective, retrospective and case series studies. Letter to editors, reviews, experimental studies, studies that were not published in English, theses, monographs, and abstracts presented in scientific events were excluded. Due to heterogeneity of data no statistical analyses were performed.

Results: Ten clinical studies fulfilled the eligibility criteria, five of which were randomized clinical trials. In these studies, the laser wavelengths, power output and duration of irradiation ranged between 630-980nm, 20-300mW, 10s-15min, respectively. Most of studies reported laser to be an effective therapy strategy for management of BMS.

Conclusion: Majority of the studies showed that laser therapy seemed to be effective in reducing pain in BMS patients. However, due to the varied methodologies and substantial variations in laser parameters among these studies, more clinical trials are required to ascertain the efficacy of laser for treating BMS.

Keywords: Burning mouth syndrome; Efficacy; Laser therapy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Burning Mouth Syndrome / complications
  • Burning Mouth Syndrome / radiotherapy*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / radiotherapy