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Intraoral photobiomodulation diminishes pain and improves functioning in women with temporomandibular disorder: a randomized, sham-controlled, double-blind clinical trial

Intraoral photobiomodulation diminishes pain in women with temporomandibular disorder

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The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of intraoral photobiomodulation involving super-pulsed laser (905 nm) combined with red (640 nm) and infrared (875 nm) light-emitting diodes on pain, mandibular range of motion, and functioning in women with myogenous temporomandibular disorder. A randomized, sham-controlled, double-blind clinical trial was conducted involving 30 women with myogenous temporomandibular disorder diagnosed using the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders. The participants were randomly allocated to two groups (active and sham photobiomodulation). The evaluations involved this use of the visual analog scale, digital calipers, and a functional scale. Photobiomodulation was administered intraorally in the region of the pterygoid muscles, bilaterally, in all participants for a total of six sessions. Evaluations were performed on five occasions: prior to the intervention, immediately after the first session, 24 h and 48 h after the first session, and after the six sessions. Significant differences between groups were found regarding pain (p ≤ 0.01) and functioning (p ≤ 0.04). However, no statistically significant difference was found regarding range of mandibular motion. The findings demonstrate that intraoral photobiomodulation involving super-pulsed laser (905 nm) combined with red (640 nm) and infrared (875 nm) light-emitting diodes diminishes pain and improves functioning but does not exert an influence on mandibular range of motion in women with temporomandibular disorder.

Trial registration: NCT02839967

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The authors are grateful to the research team and all participants as well as the University Nove de Julho, and the Brazilian fostering agencies, the State of São Paulo Research Assistance Foundation, and Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).


Funding for this study was provided by Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).

Author information

Correspondence to Carolina Marciela Herpich.

Ethics declarations

The present randomized, sham-controlled, double-blind clinical trial received approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee of University Nove de Julho, São Paulo, Brazil (certificate number: 42264715.0.0000.5511), and the protocol was registered with clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02839967). This clinical trial was conducted with patients referred from the Department of Physical Therapy of the University Nove de Julho. All volunteers received clarifications regarding the objectives and procedures of the study and those who agreed to participate signed a statement of informed consent.

Conflict of interest

Teacher Ernesto Cesar Pinto Leal-Junior receives research support from Multi Radiance Medical (Solon, OH, USA), a laser device manufacturer; he did not have any participation in data collection or data analysis. The remaining authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

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Herpich, C.M., Leal-Junior, E.C.P., Politti, F. et al. Intraoral photobiomodulation diminishes pain and improves functioning in women with temporomandibular disorder: a randomized, sham-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. Lasers Med Sci 35, 439–445 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-019-02841-1

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  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Pain
  • Physiotherapeutic modalities
  • Temporomandibular disorder syndrome
  • Lasers
  • Phototherapy