How Laser Dentistry Can with Help Treat Oral Mucositis
We live in a wonderful world of medical innovations that allows us to enjoy a longer life. An innovation that our team at Advanced Endodontics is proud to utilize is photobiomodulation therapy. Also known as low level laser therapy, red light therapy or cold laser therapy.
What Do We Mean By Laser Dentistry?
Low laser light therapy is also referred to as photobiomodulation. “Photo” means light, “bio” means life, and “modulation” means the stimulating or inhibiting response to the light energy. In other words, photobiomodulation is the use of laser lights to stimulate a targeted biological response. We primarily use this low laser light therapy for use in pain relief.
How Can Laser Dentistry Provide Pain Relief for Oral Cancer?
When someone is diagnosed with oral cancer, or another type of cancer in the head or neck, one of the first things their doctor advocates for is chemotherapy or radiation therapy. These treatments are used with the aim to shrink and destroy cancerous cells. Chemotherapy does this by directly killing cancer cells while radiation therapy damages the DNA of targeted cancer cells. This eventually causes them to wither and die. While other forms of cancer treatment are growing in popularity and effectiveness, chemotherapy and radiation therapy remain the two most recommended forms of early and late-stage treatment for most types of cancer, including oral cancer.
Unfortunately, chemotherapy and radiation therapy do have side effects. The most common side effect of both these cancer treatments is called oral mucositis. Oral mucositis is the irritation and inflammation of your mouth’s inner lining. Mucositis causes both pain and can even lead to mouth sores with a high likelihood of infection. Infection left unchecked can further hamper treatment protocols. Furthermore, cancer itself comes with its own painful symptoms. If you are suffering from oral, head, or other types of localized neck cancer, then you probably are dealing with some level of pain, whether it’s from your treatment, the cancer, or both.
The medical industry has historically recommended the use of painkillers to relieve the pain caused by cancer and its treatment protocols. But with those types of painkillers, you encounter other problematic symptoms and results. This is especially true with the use of more addictive (but highly effective) opioids. But what if we told you there was an alternative? This alternative therapy can give you pain relief, long-term pain relief without the potential of addiction or growing tolerance and drug resistance? Enter laser therapy and photobiomodulation.
Low level laser therapy is a wonderfully noninvasive treatment that has been evaluated and recommended for the use of preventing oral mucositis. The research with oral mucositis pain relief is especially strong as it also helps to remove inflammation that leads directly to mouth sores and infection.
The primary way in which low level laser therapy or photobiomodulation works is by its stimulation effects. Our team at Advanced Endodontics uses lasers to generally stimulate two areas. These specialty lasers can be used to target the masseter muscles and other facial areas, stimulating them so as to reduce the pain and inflammation felt here. We can also use low level therapy to stimulate the submandibular lymph nodes. Stimulating these nodes works to encourage lymphatic flows to parts of the mouth. That reduces inflammation and ushers in neutrophils (the white blood cells which kill and digest bad bacteria) to expedite healing.
Contact Our Team at Advanced Endodontics to Learn More
Low level laser therapy isn’t just for the relief of mucositis in cancer patients, it also can assist with a number of other ailments. Contact our team today at Advanced Endodontics to learn more and to see if this treatment is right for you.