Effect of low level laser therapy in the reduction of oral complications in patients with cancer of the head and neck submitted to radiotherapy.

Research paper by Angélica Ferreira AF Oton-Leite, Larissa Santana Arantes LS Elias, Marília Oliveira MO Morais, Juliana Castro Dourado JC Pinezi, Claudio Rodrigues CR Leles, Maria Alves Garcia Santos MA Silva, Elismauro Francisco EF Mendonça

Indexed on: 30 Oct '13Published on: 30 Oct '13Published in: Special Care in Dentistry


The aim of this study was to assess the effect of low level laser therapy on reducing the occurrence and severity of oral complications in patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy. Sixty head and neck cancer outpatients from a cancer hospital receiving radiotherapy were selected and randomly assigned into two groups. The laser group was irradiated with an InGaAlP laser and the control received sham laser. The assessment of complications (oral mucositis, pain) was carried out one week after starting radiotherapy, and at the fifteenth and thirtieth sessions of radiotherapy. All patients from both groups showed some degree of oral mucositis. Better outcomes were observed in the laser group when compared with the control in the follow-up sessions, indicating lower degrees of oral mucositis, pain and higher salivary flow (p < .05). These findings support the use of laser therapy as an adjuvant treatment for the control of oral complications.