Objective and background: Tinnitus is an apparent sound, perceived in the ear with no stimulus. It has been described as a sound originating from the brain. It affects 17% of the general population. Etiological factors for tinnitus include temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ, TMD) and Costen's syndrome. The aim of treatment is to eliminate the tinnitus or at least decrease its apparent volume.
Materials and methods: In total, 46 patients referred to our department with bilateral subjective tinnitus with TMDs were selected for this study. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) with an neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) (1064 nm) laser, LLLT with a diode laser (810 nm), and placebo treatment were applied to the patients. There were 15 patients each in the Nd:YAG and placebo groups and 16 patients in the 810 nm diode laser group. LLLT was applied for 10 days, once per day. A visual analog scale (VAS) was used, with values between 0 and 10. VAS scores were recorded before treatment, on the last day of treatment, and 1 month after treatment. The VAS scores were the same on the last day of treatment and 1 month after treatment. The VAS scores before treatment and at 1 month after treatment were compared in a statistical analysis.
Results: There were statistically significant differences in the Nd:YAG laser (p = 0.001) and 810 nm diode laser groups (p = 0.005), but no difference in the placebo group (p = 0.065).
Conclusions: Both the Nd:YAG and 810 nm diode lasers were effective for the treatment of subjective tinnitus related to TMDs.
Keywords: Nd:YAG laser; low-level laser therapy; temporomandibular joint disorders; tinnitus.