Effects of photobiomodulation with low-level laser therapy in burning mouth syndrome: A randomized clinical trial

Oral Dis. 2020 Nov;26(8):1764-1776. doi: 10.1111/odi.13443. Epub 2020 Jun 24.


Background: Photobiomodulation (PBM) has proven to be effective in different painful conditions.

Objectives: To assess the effect of photobiomodulation for pain management in burning mouth syndrome (BMS) patients, besides analysing the impact on different aspects of quality of life.

Methods: A randomized, single-blind, clinical trial was performed among 20 patients with BMS. Photobiomodulation was applied in the study group (n = 10) with a dose of 12 J/cm2 during 10 sessions, comparing with a placebo group (n = 10) with the laser turned off. Pain was assessed using the visual analogue scale (VAS) before starting each treatment session, and at the 1-month and 4-month follow-up appointments. Some validated questionnaires for general health were also complete: SF-36, OHIP-14, Epworth, SCL 90-R and McGill.

Results: All patients (n = 10) in the study group improved their pain ending treatment and remaining among 90% (n = 9) in the 4-month follow-up. Significant improvement was found in the study group in some sections of McGill questionnaire, Epworth scale, and SCL 90-R at the end of the treatment and in the 1-month and 4-month follow-ups.

Conclusions: Photobiomodulation seems to be effective in reducing pain in patients with BMS, as well as, having a positive impact on the psychological state of these patients.

Keywords: Burning Mouth Syndrome; clinical trial; low-level laser therapy; pain; photobiomodulation; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Burning Mouth Syndrome* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Quality of Life
  • Single-Blind Method