Dental Education Lecture: Use Laser to Treat Oral Ulcer
Oral ulcer is quite common and very painful. We do not know how it happens. To make thing worse, it keeps coming back. So far there has been no good way to prevent it from happening again or reduce pain intensity.
Ulcer can occur in many places in the oral cavity, such as the side of the tongue (Fig.1), the lip (Fig.2), and near the gums (Fig.3). It can be small (Fig.1), fused like conjoined twins (Fig.2) and large (Fig.3), but they are almost equally painful.
Now dentists use laser to treat the oral ulcer (Fig. 4-6) . After treatment, a new layer of skin forms (like scar) to separate the wound from tough environment of our mouth. Salty, spicy and hot food is less likely to irritate the ulcer. Pain reduces a lot after laser treatment. The wound also heals faster. Fig.7 is taken one week after laser application. The ulcer on the side of the tongue disappears without trace, whereas the ulcer on the upper lip (Fig.2), which happens just one day after the one on the side of the tongue (Fig.1), keeps enlarging without laser therapy . So she suffers pain for an extra one week. Finally the patient agrees to have laser therapy for the lip ulcer (Fig.5). It seems to us that the early ulcer responds better to laser than old one (Fig.7-9). So we need to have laser treatment as soon as possible
According to clinicians, laser changes local environment so that the ulcer is less likely to occur in the same spot.
Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 06/25/2010, last revision 07/11/2010