Few studies have been carried out on the application of laser phototherapy (LPT) for treating painful temporomandibular disorder (TMD) in elderly population that is growing worldwide. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the pain, jaw movements, and psychosocial factors in ten elderly patients with painful TMD before and after LPT. All patients were evaluated before and after LPT by using the Research Diagnostic Criteria for temporomandibular disorders (RDC/TMD) axes I and II. For pain assessment, a visual analogue scale (VAS) was used. The LPT was carried out with an GaAlAs diode laser (780 nm; spot size 0.04 cm(2)) in punctual and contact mode. Two settings of irradiations were applied as follows: in patients presenting myofascial pain, 10 mW, 5 J/cm(2), 20 s, 0.2 J per application point; and in patients with joint TMD, 70 mW, 105 J/cm(2), 60 s on five points, 4.2 J per point. Two sessions of LPT were carried out per week over four consecutive weeks, in the total of eight sessions. Data was statistically analyzed (p < 0.05).
Significant pain reduction was found in all patients. There were increases in maximum mouth opening without pain and reduction in muscle pain during right and left lateral excursion. A significant reduction in chronic pain severity (p = 0.02) and significant improvements in depression (p = 0.038) and nonspecific physical symptoms with pain (p = 0.0167) were observed. The present findings indicate that LPT is able to promote pain relief and improvement of jaw movements in elderly patients with TMD, with a positive effect on psychosocial aspects.
Rodrigues JH, Marques MM, Biasotto-Gonzalez DA, Moreira MS, Bussadori SK, Mesquita-Ferrari RA, Martins MD. Evaluation of pain, jaw movements, and psychosocial factors in elderly individuals with temporomandibular disorder under laser phototherapy. Lasers Med Sci. 2015 Apr;30(3):953-9. doi: 10.1007/s10103-013-1514-z. Epub 2013 Dec 24. PMID: 24366293.