Except for ulceration due to trauma, aphthous ulcers are the most common lesions of the oral mucous membranes. Anesthetic pastes and mouthwashes provide only short-term relief of pain, and in severe cases topical or systemic steroids are recommended. Case reports by Sharon-Buller and Sela describe the successful use of the CO2 laser in the treatment of aphthous ulcers pain. One patient was undergoing irradiation in the oral cavity for treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and resultant ulcerative lesions were so painful that the patient was unable to speak or swallow. A thin film of Elmex Gel was placed on the lesion to reduce beam absorption by soft tissue, and then the lesions were irradiated with a CO2 laser, wavelength 10.6 nm, continuous wave at 1.0 to 1.5 W, with an angulated handpiece. The lesions were irradiated with a circular motion for 5 seconds. Anesthesia was not required, and the patient experienced immediate relief of pain. Follow-up after 3 and 7 days showed complete healing of the lesions. A second patient reported recurrent aphthosis stomatitis, resulting in difficulty speaking and eating. As in the first case, laser treatment resulted in cessation of pain and healing. The authors state that these cases demonstrate that laser treatment for ulcerative lesions resulted in rapid and long-term pain relief, and in their experience recurrence of aphthosis at the same site after laser treatment is negligible.
(Source: Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod, Vol. 97, No. 3, 2004)