Clinical evaluation of the use of low-intensity ultrasound in the treatment of recurrent aphthous stomatitis

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      Objective. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of low-intensity ultrasound in the treatment of recurrent aphthous stomatitis.
      Study design. Fifty patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis were enrolled, and 35 patients completed this randomized crossover trial. The ultrasound was self-administered by twice daily use of an ultrasonic toothbrush. The level of aphthous ulcer activity was first observed for each patient with the use of either an ultrasonic or placebo toothbrush over a 6 month period. Patients were then observed for a 2 to 4 month period while using the alternate toothbrush. The level of ulcer activity was calculated as a numeric index: the total duration of sores divided by the period of observation. Statistical analysis was performed with the Student's t test.
      Results. During the initial study period, the level of aphthous ulcer activity was lower for patients in the ultrasonic toothbrush group than for those in the placebo group (0.58 versus 0.78). This difference was not statistically significant. However, when the patients who used the placebo switched to the ultrasonic toothbrush, the level of aphthous ulcer activity dropped by 46% (0.81 to 0.44; p < 0.05). Those patients who started with the ultrasonic toothbrush worsened slightly after switching to the placebo.
      Conclusion. Routine use of low intensity ultrasound appears to have a modest beneficial effect on recurrent aphthous stomatitis.
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