Evaluation of orofacial function in temporomandibular disorder patients after low-level laser therapy
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Objective. To evaluate the effect of low-level laser therapy on occlusal contact area, occlusal pressure and bite force in temporomandibular disorder patients. Patients and method. Twenty patients (14 women, six men, mean age 33.1 +/- 3.8 years) diagnosed with myofascial pain according to the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorder (RDC/TMD) participated in the study. Twenty healthy individuals, matched in age and gender, served as a control group. Low-level laser was applied to the mastication muscles three times per week, for a total of 10 sessions. The mandibular mobility range was evaluated. The maximum bite force, occlusal contact area and occlusal pressure were measured bilaterally with a dental pre-scale before and after treatment. All variables were analyzed descriptively. Changes in the masticatory muscle tenderness, mandibular movements, maximum bite force, occlusal contact area and occlusal pressure were compared by paired-sample Student's t-tests. Results. There was a significant increase in the pressure pain threshold of the examined muscles. Mandibular movements were significantly improved in all patients. There was also a significant decrease in pain by palpation after laser exposure. However, no significant change was found in the maximum bite force, occlusal contact area or occlusal pressure after the treatment and also the values after the treatment were still significantly lower than those of the healthy individuals. Conclusion. This particular type of LLLT is effective at relieving pain but does not provide physical improvement.
- Makale