Healing of self-inflicted thermal injury of palatal mucosa by low-level laser therapy

Spec Care Dentist. 2017 Nov;37(6):314-317. doi: 10.1111/scd.12256. Epub 2017 Nov 23.


Self-inflicted injury to oral mucosa is a rare entity. These injuries can be premeditated, accidental, or can result from an abnormal habit. These uncommon gingival injuries can sometimes test the clinician's diagnostic abilities as well as treatment planning skills. In conventional treatment, removal of etiology and application of topical drugs is usually sufficient for healing. However, some cases require alternative or adjunctive wound healing methods. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been reported to be effective in pain management and improvement in wound healing through promotion, fortification, and commissioning of cellular cycle to generate productive and substitute cells. This report presents a case of 25-year-old female with complaints of a painful, nonhealing wound on the palate for last 6 months. She had an unusual habit of keeping burning matchsticks in her mouth. Although she had quit the habit 2 months ago after psychiatric counseling, the wound on her palate did not show any improvement in symptoms. Based on the history and clinical findings, diagnosis of chronic wound by self-inflicted thermal injury was made. LLLT was administered on the wound every 48 hours for next 10 days. The burn wound healed completely after five applications of LLLT.

Keywords: Self-injurious ­behavior; oral trauma and self-injury; wound healing.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burns / etiology*
  • Burns / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Palate / injuries*
  • Self-Injurious Behavior*