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Does red light therapy work on mouth ulcers?

If you’ve ever had a mouth ulcer, you know how painful and irritating they can be. Those small sores inside your mouth make eating, drinking, and even talking miserable. You’ve probably tried everything – from numbing gels to prescription medicines. But the ulcer takes forever to heal and usually comes back again and again. So when you hear about red light therapy as a natural treatment for mouth ulcers, it gets your attention. But does it really work? And how exactly does it help heal mouth sores faster? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using red light for mouth ulcers.

Does red light therapy work on mouth ulcers?

The Agony of Mouth Ulcers: What Are They and What Causes Them?

Mouth ulcers are circular or oval sores that appear in the oral cavity, including on the inner cheeks, lips, tongue, floor of the mouth, and back of the throat. They typically have a red border and yellow or grey center, with a white halo around them.

These benign yet bothersome lesions are also known as aphthous ulcers or canker sores. They shouldn’t be confused with cold sores, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus.

Mouth ulcers range in size from a few millimeters up to around 1 centimeter wide. They usually last 1-2 weeks before fading away, with the pain most intense for the first few days.

So what brings on these unpleasant blemishes in the first place? There are several potential culprits:

  • Stress – Increased stress can impair immune function and kick off ulcer formation. People with anxiety/depression are prone to recurrent ulcers.
  • Hormonal changes – Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle or puberty can trigger ulcers.
  • Nutritional deficiencies – Low levels of iron, folate, zinc, or B vitamins may predispose some people to mouth ulcers.
  • Injury – Accidental biting or rough brushing can damage the delicate oral tissue and lead to ulceration. Dental braces or ill-fitting dentures also cause irritation.
  • Spicy, acidic, or abrasive foods – Foods that mechanically aggravate the lining of the mouth or contain irritating chemicals can instigate ulcers. Think chips, pretzels, citrus fruits.
  • Certain medications – Some blood pressure and cancer drugs are associated with mouth ulcers as a side effect.
  • Autoimmune conditions – Issues where the immune system attacks the body’s own cells, like Crohn’s disease or lupus, often co-occur with mouth ulcers.
  • Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections – Infections can breach the tissue and lead to ulceration. This includes gingivitis (gum disease).

As you can see, mouth ulcers have many potential causes! The good news is that red light therapy offers a drug-free way to find mouth ulcer relief fast.

How Red Light Therapy Supports Mouth Ulcer Healing?

Mouth ulcers (canker sores) can occur for many reasons, like stress, injury, immune disorders, and nutritional deficiencies. While harmless, they make eating and talking very uncomfortable until they heal.

Studies have found red light therapy improves wound healing and reduces pain through these mechanisms:

Increases ATP and Cellular Energy

The cells inside your mouth need adequate ATP to function properly and repair damage. Red light boosts ATP production and cellular metabolism to energize wound healing. This is especially important for mouth ulcers, as cells in the mouth naturally regenerate very quickly.

Reduces Inflammation

Mouth ulcers are inflammatory wounds. Red light reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors that prolong inflammation and delay healing. This helps oral cells repair faster.

Increases Blood Flow

Red light promotes growth of new small blood vessels (angiogenesis). Better blood flow brings oxygen, nutrients, and healing compounds to the wound site.

Kills Bacteria

Research shows red light has a photobiomodulation effect that kills bacteria. This helps prevent infection and supports healing.

Relieves Nerve Pain

Red light can calm irritated nerves and reduce neuropathic pain. This provides pain relief alongside healing the actual ulcer.

With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that red light can shorten mouth ulcer duration and provide relief. But what does the research say? Let’s review what the scientific research says about red light therapy for mouth ulcers.

How Red Light Therapy Supports Mouth Ulcer Healing?

The Research on Red Light Therapy for Mouth Ulcers

Multiple clinical studies have found red light effective for treating oral ulcers and other mouth lesions. Here are some of the most promising findings:

  • A 2009 controlled trial divided 100 patients with mouth ulcers into two groups. Results showed that wounds in the red light group healed significantly faster and had lower pain levels than those in the placebo group. Red light treatment increased “healing” rates (defined by epithelialization and resolution of pain) from two to six times those in the control group 60 .
  • A 2014 sham controlled, split mouth follow up study that red light therapy significantly improved ulcer pain relief and the rate of healing.
  • A 2019 clinical study found that red light therapy was effective in reducing pain associated with canker sores and shortening healing time. may be considered as an effective alternative treatment option for patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis.

The consistent results across multiple high quality studies suggest red light therapy is an effective option for minimizing the duration and discomfort of troublesome mouth ulcers.

Now let’s discuss the most important part – how you can use red light therapy at home for your mouth ulcers!

The Research on Red Light Therapy for Mouth Ulcers

Guidelines for Using Red Light Therapy on Mouth Ulcers

As a simple, safe treatment, red light therapy for mouth ulcers doesn’t require complex protocols. But adhering to a few guidelines will help you get the best results.

  • Use a red (630-680 nm) or near infrared (780-940 nm) LED device. Lasers can also be used but LEDs are safer for at-home use. Stick to powers of 100 mW or less.
  • Clean the area first by gently swishing with an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce bacterial load. Rinse your mouth with water afterward.
  • Position the light 1-2 inches away from the affected area. Angle the light to fully cover the ulcer.
  • Start with 2-3 minutes of exposure time per ulcer. Slowly build up to 5 minutes if needed and tolerated.
  • Treat the ulcers 1-2 times per day. Consistency is key.
  • Use the light until the ulcers are completely healed. Then continue 2-3x per week to prevent recurrence.
  • Avoid extremely spicy, acidic, or irritating foods during treatment to optimize healing.
  • Keep the area clean by gently brushing your teeth morning and night.

With red light therapy, more is often better in terms of power density and energy dose. But start slowly and increase intensity gradually to avoid overdoing it. Your mouth tissue should never feel burnt or irritated.

Are you ready to give red light therapy a try for your painful mouth ulcers? An at-home RedDot LED device offers convenient relief.

Other Helpful Home Remedies for Mouth Ulcers

While red light can speed healing, there are other home treatments you can combine it with:

  • Gel numbing agents like Orajel provide short-term ulcer pain relief.
  • Ice chips, cold drinks, or cold compress soothes pain and inflammation.
  • Salt water rinses clean ulcers and kill bacteria. Dissolve 1/2 tsp salt in water and swish.
  • Avoid acidic, spicy, hot, crunchy, or irritating foods that can worsen ulcers.
  • Apply hydrocortisone cream to reduce inflammation.
  • Take vitamin supplements if you have deficiencies. Vitamin B12, zinc, iron, and L-lysine supplements may help prevent ulcers.
  • Avoid injury or biting inside of mouth to prevent ulcers. But if they occur, red light helps heal faster!

The RedDot LED: A Top Choice for Mouth Ulcer Relief

One of the most trusted clinical-grade red light therapy devices for at-home mouth ulcer treatment is the RedDot LED.

This FDA-registered panels provides targeted red light at 660 nm and near infrared light at 830 nm – ideal for decreasing inflammation and speeding healing.

With just 2-3 minutes of use 1-2x per day, the RedDot LED reduces the size, pain, and healing time of canker sores and other mouth lesions.

Overall, the RedDot LED stands out for its:

  • Dual therapeutic wavelengths
  • Customized services
  • High power output for faster results
  • 3-year warranty

Ready to heal mouth ulcers faster and reduce painful flare-ups? Learn more about the benefits of the RedDot LED here.

With the right device, it’s easy to incorporate red light therapy into your oral hygiene routine. Just follow the evidence-based guidelines outlined above to support rapid mouth ulcer healing.


Published by reddotled.com (Repost Tips)