Red Light Therapy and Oral Health
From a young age, emphasis is always placed on looking after your teeth, as we only get one set for life. It has been said that oral health is essential for overall health, where oral problems have been linked with numerous disorders such as cavities, bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease as well as other more sinister health conditions.
An although not just a matter of health, your smile is one of the most important features that aid in self-confidence. In an American survey, it was determined that 48% of people believe that a person’s smile is the most memorable thing about them. We wanted to investigate how we can utilize red light therapy as a tool to aid in overall oral health. We all want a smile that looks like it’s worth a million dollars, without having to actually pay that price, so let’s see how we can invest in the future of our grins…
Oral health is extremely important!
Your mouth is the entry point of your entire respiratory and digestive system. Through the food and liquid that we consume, we allow bacteria into our systems that may be beneficial or harmful to our bodies. Small pieces of food may get stuck in the little spaces between our teeth, these food particles can begin to decay, causing an increase in the bacterial concentration in our mouths, which is swallowed and enters our bodies through the gut.
This increase in harmful bacteria weakens the immune system and may even reach the bloodstream, which eventually can cause infections in the valves of the heart. This may result in heart disease and an increased risk of stroke.
How can we prevent this!?
Red light therapy utilizes the wavelengths of light that are emitted from the light-emitting diode of a lamp which can be used for numerous benefits in all parts of the body. This includes:
- Reducing inflammation in all parts of the body
- Enhancing muscular repair post injury
- Producing more collagen in skin cells – resulting in more youthful looking skin
- Encouraging hair growth
- Reducing appearance of scars from acne
The list is endless, however, one benefit really stood out to us and that was a study performed on cancer patients after chemotherapy. This study was performed by NASA and the University of Alabama on the effect of red light therapy to reduce the negative side effects of cancer treatment. This two-year clinical trial was performed on patients undergoing bone marrow or stem cell transplants.
A common side effect of chemotherapy is oral mucositis, one of the most debilitating side effects of cancer treatments. Patients were exposed to red light therapy to reduce the healing time required for this condition. The trial concluded that 96% of patients noted major improvements in their condition following RLT treatment.
Dr Salzman, the principal investigator of this study, reported that this technology proves to be an incredible healing agent with no adverse effects. What doctors reported that further strengthened this study was that patients improved dramatically in strength as they were able to eat more, from reduced mouth sores, and reduced dependence on narcotics for pain relief. These benefits compounded to aid in shorter hospital stays, improved patient morale and reduces risk of infections. Incredible right?
Any other benefits?
Red light therapy has shown to decrease tooth sensitivity and the build up of the dentin layer in the mouth, which strengthens teeth. It can also significantly reduce inflammation build up in the teeth bone and gums. Red light therapy uses the optimal wavelength of light for rapidly and safely destroying bacterial build up in the mouth, specifically those called Lactobacilli and Staphylococcus.
YES, brushing and flossing are both FUNDAMENTAL to oral health and need to be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, every day! But why not boost your oral care with the tools that can results in a greater quality of life? Red light therapy continues to surprise us with the never-ending list of benefits. Why not see what it can do for you!?
Written By: Caroline Bursey