Effects of Low Level Laser Therapy on Erosive-atrophic Oral Lichen Planus

Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2018 Sep 1;60(3):417-424. doi: 10.2478/folmed-2018-0008.


Background: The erosive-atrophic form of oral lichen planus (OLP) is associated with severe pain and burning sensation and is often unresponsive to treatment. Topical corticosteroids are considered as a medication of first choice but they can produce adverse effects. Therefore, new therapeutic approaches are required.

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of biomodulation with diode laser in patients presenting with long-standing erosive-atrophic OLP.

Materials and methods: Twelve patients, clinically and histologically diagnosed with OLP, participated in this study. The level of pain and the clinical scores of total 59 lesions were recorded before treatment using visual analog scale and Thongprasom sign scoring system respectively. All patients received low level laser therapy (LLLT) with diode laser (810 nm) with parameters (0.5 W, 30 s, 1.2 J/cm2) three times weekly for a month. The response rate was assessed according to the decrease in pain and sign scores. Treatment efficacy index was calculated.

Results: There was a significant reduction in pain after LLLT (p<0.0001). Improvement in clinical signs was achieved in 59.3% of the lesions. At the end of the treatment 5.1% of the lesions exhibited score 5; 6.8% - score 4, 11.9% of the lesions were scored 3 and 8.5% and 30.5% showed score 2 and score 1, respectively. Complete resolution was revealed in 37.3% of the lesions. All patients experienced some degree of improvement. Most of the cases showed moderate recovery.

Conclusion: The present results indicate that LLLT is an effective and harmless modality for management of erosive-atrophic OLP.

Keywords: LLLT; OLP.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use*
  • Lichen Planus, Oral / radiotherapy*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult