Dr. Robert H. Burke and Erchonia Corporation Announce Collaboration in a Pilot Study

August 13, 2013 |

Dr. Robert H. Burke and Erchonia corporation announce their research collaboration in a pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Erchonia® TMJ Laser, manufactured by Erchonia Corporation, in providing temporary relief of the symptoms of jaw pain and reduced jaw function associated with temporomandibular joint disorders.

The actual clinical research aspect of the study will be conducted at the Michigan Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) include problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and jaw movement. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), notes that “TMJ disorders are the second most common pain-causing musculoskeletal condition (after chronic low back pain).” 5 percent to 12 percent of the population is probably affected with an annual cost estimated at nearly $4 billion.

Specifically, common symptoms of TMD include: pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when chewing, speaking or opening the mouth wide. The pain and discomfort vary from severe, lasting years to temporary in nature. Often there is limited ability to open the mouth very wide and the jaw gets “stuck” or “locks” in the open- or closed-mouth position.

There may also be clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth or chewing , headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and tinnitus.

Currently there is no “gold standard” of care widely accepted by the dental or medical community for the treatment of TMD and its debilitating related symptoms. Surgical procedures for treating TMD are last resort procedures often of limited success, and as with all surgical procedures, carry significant risks and potential complications. Additionally, little positive evidence exists regarding the efficacy of more conservative current interventions used to treat TMD.

Noting this, Dr. Burke began exploring the concept of noninvasive laser use. Low level laser light therapy has been long used and clinically proven to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation and in increasing range of motion in disease-compromised patients. Low level laser light therapy, such as that provided through application of the Erchonia® TMJ Laser as proposed in this pilot study protocol, offers a simple, non-invasive, safe, effective and side-effect free alternative to improving the symptoms of TMD such as pain and reduced jaw motion.

Dr. Burke sees tremendous potential for this safe, noninvasive treatment in the future. First though, he wants to prove that this actually works, and that is the purpose of the pilot study, whose results will guide a placebo controlled trial.

According to Dr. Burke, “The potential use of low level laser therapy offers a safe, noninvasive option for the treatment of debilitating TMD pain and disability. It offers the potential of decreasing the need for medications, mouth appliances , and invasive surgery. Imaging patients treated on an outpatient basis with a simple 10 minute procedure and functioning pain free afterward.”
Those wishing to inquire further, or potentially join the study should inquire at : tmjlaser@yahoo.com