Mouth dryness (MD) is usually followed by inadequate mechanical cleaning of the mouth and decrease in the levels of salivary antimicrobial proteins (including secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA)). It is accompanied by difficulties during speaking and food swallowing, with an unpleasant taste, burning sensations in the mouth and higher susceptibility to oral diseases. Low-level laser treatment (LLLT) can intensify cell metabolism and its application on salivary glands could improve salivation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of LLLT on salivation of patients suffering from MD. The study included 17 patients with MD. Their major salivary glands were treated with low intensity laser BTL2000 on 10 occasions. The whole unstimulated and stimulated saliva quantities were measured just before the 1st, after the 10th and thirty days following the last (10th) treatment. In the samples of unstimulated saliva concentrations of sIgA were estimated by using ELISA method and its quantity in the time unit was calculated. The visual analogue scale (VAS) score was used to assess burning and/or pain intensity at these three time points. Statistical tests revealed significant salivation improvement quantitatively and qualitatively, i.e. increase in the quantity of saliva and sIgA. VAS score was also significantly improved and no side effects were observed.
Conclusions: According to the results of this study, application of LLLT to xerostomic patients' major salivary glands stimulates them to produce more saliva with better antimicrobial characteristics and improves the difficulties that are associated with MD. This simple non-invasive method could be used in everyday clinical practice for the treatment of MD.