Soft Laser Therapy in the Treatment of Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers (aphthous stomatis) also known as canker sores, are caused by an inflamed break or tear on the mouth lining. When the ulcer spreads it leads to the erosion of the mucous membrane that lines the inside of themouth. Usually yellow or white in colour, their size can vary from a millimetre or less, to several centimetres.

The ulcers are caused by a wide variety of reasons ranging from stress, a poor diet lacking in essential vitamins, trauma or brushing your teeth too hard. The condition affects around 20 per cent of the population and leads to repeated bouts ofmouth ulcersin otherwise healthy children and adults.

Mouth ulcersare usually harmless and heal by themselves in a few days without the need for medical treatment. Other types ofulcer however may require medical intervention. Treatments include mouthwashes (such as salt and warm water) or antiseptic mouthwashes, local anaesthetics available as a gel or an ointment, and more recently the introduction of the convenient, highly effective and painless soft laser therapy treatment.

In recent years, soft laser therapy has proved effective for some specific applications in dentistry such as in the treatment of ulcers. Along with the primary benefit of being nonsurgical, it promotes tissue healing and reduces edema, inflammation and pain. The laser offers immediate pain relief and promotes the healing of ulcers by different mechanisms such as biostimulation, improvement of blood circulation, vasodilatation and anti-inflammatory effect.

Biostimulation is a process whereby tissues are stimulated, as opposed to cut, with photon energy from a specific laser wavelength. It provides instantaneous pain relief, rapid wound healing, and anti-inflammatory effects in patients. It also increases collagen growth, thereby accelerating the healing process. The patient will feel immediate pain relief and the ulcer is guaranteed to heal within one to four days.

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