Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 945–954 | Cite as

Effects of oral motor exercises and laser therapy on chronic temporomandibular disorders: a randomized study with follow-up

  • Barbara Cristina Zanandréa Machado
  • Marcelo Oliveira Mazzetto
  • Marco Antonio M. Rodrigues Da Silva
  • Cláudia Maria de FelícioEmail author
Original Article


This study investigated the efficacy of combining low-level laser therapy (LLLT) with oral motor exercises (OM-exercises) for rehabilitation of patients with chronic temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). Eighty-two patients with chronic TMD and 20 healthy subjects (control group) participated in the study. Patients were randomly assigned to treatment groups: GI (LLLT + OM exercises), GII (orofacial myofunctional therapy—OMT—which contains pain relief strategies and OM-exercises), and GIII (LLLT placebo + OM-exercises) and GIV (LLLT). LLLT (AsGaAl; 780-nm wavelength; average power of 60 mW, 40 s, and 60 ± 1.0 J/cm²) was used to promote analgesia, while OM-exercises were used to reestablish the orofacial functions. Evaluations at baseline (T1), after treatment immediate (T2), and at follow-up (T3) were muscle and joint tenderness to palpation, TMD severity, and orofacial myofunctional status. There was a significant improvement in outcome measures in all treated groups with stability at follow-up (Friedman test, P < 0.05), but GIV did not show difference in orofacial functions after LLLT (P > 0.05). Intergroup comparisons showed that all treated groups had no difference in tenderness to palpation of temporal muscle compared to GC at follow-up (Kruskal-Wallis test, P < 0.01). Moreover, GI, GII, and GIII showed no difference from GC in orofacial functional condition (T2 and T3) while they differed significantly from GIV (P < 0.01). In conclusion, LLLT combined with OM-exercises was more effective in promoting TMD rehabilitation than LLLT alone was. Similar treatment results were verified with the OMT protocol.


Temporomandibular disorders Oral motor therapy Low-level laser therapy Rehabilitation Orofacial functions 



This work was supported by Provost’s Office for Research of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and the first author received a fellowship from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by the institutional ethics committee (Process N. 4118/2013) and all the exams were undertaken with the understanding and written consent of each subject according to the ethical principles.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Cristina Zanandréa Machado
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marcelo Oliveira Mazzetto
    • 3
  • Marco Antonio M. Rodrigues Da Silva
    • 2
    • 3
  • Cláudia Maria de Felício
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Ophtalmology, Otorhinolaryngology, and Head and Neck SurgerySchool of Medicine, University of São PauloRibeirão PretoBrazil
  2. 2.Craniofacial Research Support CentreUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Restorative Dentistry, School of DentistryUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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