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LLLT reduces oral mucositis

LLLT reduces oral mucositis

Low Level Laser Therapy:

  • Reduces the development of oral mucositis.
  • Reduces pain, severity and duration of oral mucositis
  • Treatment time 5-10 mins
  • No side effects


  • oral mucositis
  • Lymphoedema


  • Trismus
  • Xerostomia
  • Dermatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Pain control


  • Dysphagia
  • Taste
  • Hearing loss
  • Osteoradionecrosis
  • Voice changes

What is LLLT ?

Low Level Laser Therapy is the application of light of damaged tissues to improve the speed and quality of healing. It works by increasing cellular energy (ATP) and reducing free radicals (oxidative stress). There are over 200 RCTs published on LLLT for a wide range of painful and non healing applications including 14 controlled clinical trials on oral mucositis.

How LLLT works

One of the main effects of LLLT is on mitochondrial function: There are hundreds of different cell types in the body, each performing different functions, they all contain lots of mitochondria, (cellular power plants) which generate most of the cell's supply of energy (ATP). Mitochondria are also involved in a range of other cellular processes, including signalling, differentiation, inflammation, cell survival, cell death and are consequently implicated in many diseases.

Mitochondria in stressed or ischaemic tissues produce nitric oxide (NOmt) which binds to cytochrome c oxidase, competitively displacing oxygen. This causes increased oxidative stress and reduced ATP, leading to inflammation and poor cellular function.

Light of the correct wavelength (generated by low intensity lasers and LED's), when applied to stressed tissues, is absorbed by cytochrome c oxidase. The light displaces the NOmt thereby reducing oxidative stress and increasing ATP production; this reduces inflammation and increases cell metabolism.

The subsequent cascade of downstream metabolic effects have been shown to include increased exchange of Ca2+, secretion of growth factors, activation of enzymes & other secondary messengers.

Within hours and sometimes minutes following LLLT, increases in cellular activity have been shown in vitro and in vivo in neutrophils, macrophages, fibroblasts, mast cells, endothelial cells and keratinocytes. Reduced inflammatory markers including prostaglandin E2, interleukin 1ß and TNF a have also been seen in many studies.

Clinical trials show a significant improvement in healing of wounds and reduction of pain. A recent systematic review on LLLT for OM found that it reduces pain, severity and duration of chemotherapy and radiotherapy induced oral mucositis.

The Multinational Association for Support in Cancer care now recommend LLLT for for the prevention of oral mucositis in adult patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplantation conditioned with high-dose chemotherapy. A new suggestion was made for low-level laser for the prevention of oral mucositis in patients undergoing radiotherapy, without concomitant chemotherapy, for head and neck cancer.

Download our white paper on LLLT and oral mucostitis CLICK HERE