Volume 29 (2017) Issue 12 Pages 2107-2111
[Purpose] Problems involving the temporomandibular joint and associated structures can lead to temporomandibular disorder (TMD). The aim of the present study was to evaluate muscle activity in individuals with a diagnosis of TMD before and after treatment with low-level laser therapy (LLLT) through the use of electromyography (EMG). [Subjects and Methods] Male and female individuals aged 14 to 23 years were evaluated. TMD was determined by a clinical examination and the administration of the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders, followed by the evaluation of sensitivity to palpation of the masseter and anterior temporal muscles as well as the EMG determination of muscle activity. The participants were randomly allocated to an active LLLT group (n=9) and sham group (n=7). Twelve sessions of LLLT were conducted using a wavelength of 780 nm, energy density of 25 J/cm2, power of 50 mW, power density of 1.25 W/cm2 and a 20-second exposure time or sham LLLT. Muscle activity was determined prior to treatment and after the last session. [Results] During the isometric evaluation of the masseter and anterior temporal muscles, an increase in the mean EMG signal was found in the group submitted to active LLLT. When evaluated individually, some participants in the active LLLT group demonstrated a reduction in muscle activity, but no significant differences were found in the mean EMG signal between the initial and final evaluations. [Conclusion] Further studies with a larger sample size are needed to confirm the present findings.