Do TMJ symptoms improve and last across time after treatment with red (660 nm) and infrared (790 nm) low level laser treatment (LLLT)? A survival analysis

Cranio. 2017 Nov;35(6):372-378. doi: 10.1080/08869634.2017.1292176. Epub 2017 Feb 20.


Objective: Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a variety of clinical problems that originate from the area of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), masticatory muscles, and surrounding tissues. There are different treatment options; however, there is no evidence that low level laser treatment (LLLT) will last about six months. The aim of this study was to determine the survival rate of treatment with red (660 nm) and infrared (790 nm) laser in cases of TMDs.

Methods: In 19 subjects, one side of the face (half face) was randomly selected to receive intervention, in a total of 116 sensitive points. Pain was measured at baseline and time intervals of 24 h, 30, 90, and 180 days after treatment. Laser irradiation with 4 j/cm² in the TMJs and 8 j/cm² in the muscles was used in three sessions. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and logistic regression were performed.

Results: Both treatments showed statistically significant results (p < 0.001). The survival rate for red and infrared laser was 0.24 and 0.30, respectively, at 180 days. Grinding teeth and headache were associated with recurrent pain.

Discussion: Both lasers were effective in the treatment of TMD symptoms and had a low survival rate at 180 days.

Keywords: Laser; orofacial pain; photobiomodulation; survival analysis; temporomandibular disorders.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Survival Analysis
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / radiotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome