Effect of low-level gallium aluminum arsenide laser therapy on the chewing performance and pain perception of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: A randomized controlled clinical trial

Cranio. 2024 Jul;42(4):411-420. doi: 10.1080/08869634.2021.1971888. Epub 2021 Aug 29.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on pain intensity (PI) and chewing performance (CP) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients with myogenic temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

Methods: Ninety-one patients were randomly allocated to three groups: Group L (intervention), Group P (placebo), and Group C (control). Outcomes were PI (assessed with visual analog scale (VAS)) and CP (assessed with the geometric mean diameter (GMD) of crushed test food). Measurements were performed at T0 (before the LLLT), T1 (immediately after the LLLT), and T2 (1-month follow-up). Data were analyzed using Generalized Linear Models, Kruskal-Wallis, and Friedman tests.

Results: For T1 and T2, Group L demonstrated the lowest values for both GMD (6283.7 ± 257.2 µm; 6382.7 ± 303.7 µm) and VAS (5;6) (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: LLLT was an effective therapeutic approach in reducing pain and improving CP for one month in SLE patients with myogenic TMD.

Keywords: Pain; lasers; low-level light therapy; lupus erythematosus; mastication.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Facial Pain / etiology
  • Facial Pain / radiotherapy
  • Facial Pain / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use
  • Low-Level Light Therapy* / methods
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic* / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic* / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mastication* / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement*
  • Pain Perception*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders* / radiotherapy
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders* / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult