Low-level laser therapy in the treatment of recurrent aphthous ulcers: a systematic review

ScientificWorldJournal. 2015;2015:150412. doi: 10.1155/2015/150412. Epub 2015 Mar 23.


Recurrent aphthous ulcers (RAUs) are the most common lesion found in the oral cavity. There is no definitive cure for RAUs and current treatments are aimed at minimizing symptoms. Since low-level laser therapy (LLLT) modulates inflammatory responses, and promotes pain reduction and cellular biostimulation, LLLT can be suggested as an alternative treatment for RAUs. The literature concerning the potential of LLLT in the treatment of RAUs was evaluated. A systematic literature review identified 22 publications, of which only 2 studies were adopted. The eligibility criteria consisted of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Both RCTs achieved significant results concerning LLLT and pain-level reductions and reduced healing times. Despite the variance in irradiation conditions applied in both studies, very similar wavelengths were adopted. There is accordingly strong evidence that wavelength plays an important role in RAU treatment. Taking into account the different parameters applied by selected RCTs, it is not possible to suggest that a specific protocol should be used. However, in light of the significant results found in both studies, LLLT can be suggested as an alternative for RAU treatment. Additional RCTs should be performed in order to reach a clinical protocol and better understand the application of LLLT in RAU treatment.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Mouth / pathology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods
  • Recurrence
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / diagnosis*
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / radiotherapy*