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Managing orofacial pain with Photobiomodulation.

Orofacial pain comes in many forms, and in some cases the pain is excruciating, however thanks to laser dentistry, once again, you can now treat your patient quickly, and effectively.

Orofacial pain symptoms

Patients may present with a headache, facial burning or a stabbing feeling, or it may be localised neck, ear or jaw pain and tingling. Tinnitus may also accompany orofacial pain symptoms, including dizziness and a lack of coordination.

Causes of Orofacial pain

Orofacial pain can develop gradually, or quickly, and be caused by neurovascular, neuropathic or musculoskeletal problems like temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ). 

Orofacial neuropathic pain is particularly debilitating, and is caused by vascular compression of the trigeminal nerve in the prepontine cistern (Is this right?). Until recently, the only way to treat this was with anticonvulsant medication, or neurosurgery involving microvascular decompression of the trigeminal nerve. Not anymore…

Orofacial pain treatment

Orofacial pain can now be managed with Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), which is also known as Photobiomodulation (PBM). This is where a low-level, visible to near-infrared light energy is focussed on a specific location, where it stimulates cells to naturally heal, relieve pain and reduce inflammation. This is how it works.

Increases metabolism 
Energy is absorbed by cytochrome c oxidase (in mitochondria) in the cell and results in an increase in ATP, (adenosine triphosphate) which is a natural fuel for cell activity and metabolism. 

Activates repairing and healing
Mild oxidants (ROS) (reactive oxygen species) are created, leading to gene transcription and cellular repair and healing. 

Improves circulation 
By signalling the molecule, Nitric Oxide, PBM therapy helps to dilate blood vessels and improvs blood circulation.

Liebert, A., Bicknell, B., Markman, W. & Kiat, H. A Potential Role for Photobiomodulation Therapy in Disease Treatment and Prevention in the Era of COVID-19. 11, 1–11 (2020).

Walsh, B. L. J. Clinical applications of low level laser therapy: Current use and future potential. Australas. Dent. Mag. 80–82 (2015).

Orofacial pain management

As an orofacial pain dentist, you’ll be able to treat, and manage all of the following conditions for your patients.

Jaw joint




Clinically proven benefits of Photobiomodulation

Photobiomodulation, Low level Laser Therapy, Cold Laser Therapy, whatever you want to call it, learning how to use these techniques will transform your practice and the lives of the patients you treat. All of the following benefits are clinically proven.

If you’d like to find out more, check out our upcoming courses here, or contact us below:

Got questions? Ask Dr. Pang