Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in treatment of recurrent aphthous ulcers - a sham controlled, split mouth follow up study

J Clin Diagn Res. 2014 Feb;8(2):218-21. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2014/7639.4064. Epub 2014 Feb 3.


Introduction: Apthous ulcers, commonly referred to as canker sores, are the most common ulcerative lesions of the oral mucosa. These are usually painful and are associated with redness, and occasional bleeding from the affected area(s). The aims of treatment are to reduce pain and healing time.

Aims: To assess clinically the efficacy of Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on recurrent aphthous ulcers for reduction of pain, lesion size, and healing time and to compare the results with those of a sham control group.

Settings and design: A total of 30 patients who presented with two separate aphthous ulcers were included in the study. Each lesion was randomly allotted to either the active treatment group or the sham control group.

Materials and methods: Lesions which were included in the active group were treated with LLLT in a single sitting, which was divided into four sessions. Lesions in the sham control group were subjected to similar treatment without activating the LASER unit. Each patient was evaluated for pain, lesion size, and complete healing at the following intervals; immediately post LLLT and one day, two days, and three days follow up. Statistical Analysis : The Student's t-test was used for statistical evaluation of the data.

Results: Complete resolution of the ulcers in the active group was 3.05 ± 1.10 days as compared to 8.90 ± 2.45 days in the sham control group. Immediately, post the LLLT application, complete pain relief was observed in 28 of the 30 patients of the active group.

Conclusion: LLLT was effective in relieving pain and reducing the healing time during the treatment of aphthous ulcers.

Keywords: Aphthous ulcer; LLLT; Pain relief; Wound healing.