Photobiomodulation for the Dental Patient to Reduce Pain and Discomfort

It has been my experience that patients do not enjoy pain. Pain is caused by the production of acid from dental diseases such as cavities, periodontal disease, trauma, bone infections, gum tissue infections,, virus lesions, and fungal infections. We are constantly striving to understand the nature of dental pain and it effect on patient care.

Photobiomodulation is the use of various frequencies of light to help reduce the swelling, pain and dysfunction in and around the mouth, face and neck. Photobiomodulation has also been found effective in treating other parts of the body such as the brain, eyes, shoulders, hips, knees, heart, kidneys, pancreas and feet. Dr. Joseph Kravitz is publishing a book in the fall of 2018, called “The Red Light District”, whereby he reviews treatments for various systemic diseases by using photobiomodulation.

Photobiomodulation has also been termed low level light therapy, red light therapy and cold lasers.

The human body has organs that are responsible for various bodily functions such as protection, filters, pumps, energy, thinking, etc. The organs inside human cells are called organelles.
The organelles are also responsible for various functions of each cell as noted in Figure 1.1.

The mitochondria are organelles that operate like batteries inside every human cell, see Figure 1.2. 

Without the batteries, the cell dies. When the batteries leak acid, disease occurs. When the acid leaks it causes pain. Mitochondria, when dysfunctional, can leak acid, thereby causing pain.

Photobiomodulation targets the mitochondria to guide them towards a more normal state of function.

Dr. Joseph Kravitz has discovered that light therapy has been effective in treating:

Pain swelling
Nerve damage
Tooth sensitivity
Periodontal disease
Altered taste from the
Tooth grinding, clenching, bruxism
Muscle spasms
Delayed surgical healing
Local anesthetic injection pain
Gum shrinkage, recession
Damage from tooth caries, cavities
Acid damage from gum infections, bone infections
Facial swelling
Crooked lips
Uneven gum tissues
Esthetic issues of the face
Brown spots on skin of the face
Facial acne

Figure 1.2 Schematic of mitochondria inside a human cell.

Dr. Joseph Kravitz has been studying, researching and developing treatments for dental diseases. Dr. Kravitz has been pioneering the use of light to reduce mouth pain. He has used various light frequencies to treat a patient that had excessive nerve pain, paresthesias such as a numb face. A patient was treated with light to regenerate the facial nerve. A series of treatments over 5 weeks produced improved feeling for the patient. He was very satisfied with the results of photobiomodulation.

I have found that using photobiomodulation has greatly reduce pain associated with dental treatments. The use of light has decreased discomfort associated with needles, drilling and surgery. Use red light therapy has allowed patients to feel more comfortable during and after dental implant surgeries.