February 5, 2022
Burning mouth syndrome is a chronic condition, which is characterised by a burning sensation or pain in the mucosa of the oral cavity. Treatment options include antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, analgesics, hormone replacement therapies and more recently photobiomodulation. This study aims to perform a systematic review with meta-analysis in order to determine the effect of photobiomodulation on pain relief and the oral health-related quality of life associated with this condition. A bibliographical search of the Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science and Scopus databases was conducted. Only randomised clinical trials were included. Pain and quality of life were calculated as mean difference and pooled at different treatment points (baseline = T0 and final time point = Tf) and laser modality. From a total of 103 records, 7 articles were retrieved for inclusion. PBM group had a greater decrease in pain than control group at Tf with a mean difference = − 2.536 (IC 95% − 3.662 to − 1.410; I2 = 85.33%, p < 0.001). An improvement in oral health-related quality of life was observed in both groups, although this was more significant in the photobiomodulation group mean difference = − 5.148 (IC 95% − 8.576 to − 1.719; I2 = 84.91%, p = 0.003). For the red laser, a greater improvement than infrared was observed, in pain, mean difference = − 2.498 (IC 95% − 3.942 to − 1.053; I2 = 79.93%, p < 0.001), and in quality of life, mean difference = − 8.144 (IC 95% − 12.082 to − 4.206; I2 = 64.22%, p = 0.027). Photobiomodulation, in particular, red laser protocols, resulted in improvement in pain and in quality of life of burning mouth syndrome patients.