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Real-World Study on the Luminance RED for Canker Sores

A woman holds her cheek in pain and cringes because of a canker sore.


For too long, people who deal with frequent canker sores have suffered in silence. This is especially true for those who experience recurrent aphthous ulcer stomatitis, or RAS, developing multiple bouts of one or more canker sores every few weeks or days. 

RAS can be so disruptive to your life that it can feel like there’s no possibility of relief. However, promising research shows the effectiveness of light therapy as a treatment for canker sores. Studies in clinical settings have shown that light therapy can provide immediate pain relief and shorten healing time for these painful ulcers. But few studies have examined light therapy specifically for RAS, and that’s exactly what we wanted to test.


The Luminance RED device makes advanced light therapy technology available for use in the comfort and convenience of your own home, and our study tested its effectiveness as a treatment for people diagnosed with RAS. The results were very compelling!

Nearly half of our study participants (45.45%) experienced reduced pain after using the Luminance RED device for one day, and the same percentage saw canker sores heal faster. 

Plus, everyday tasks like eating and talking became easier for the majority of participants throughout the study. At the end of the study, over half of the participants agreed that the Luminance RED device reduced the pain and duration of their symptoms. 

Now that we know the results, let’s get into some specifics about canker sores, light therapy, and the Luminance RED study. 

Graphic: Real-World Study on the Luminance RED for Canker Sores

More About RAS

Canker sores are actually painful ulcers that develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums. These irritating spots can be incredibly painful and surprisingly disruptive to your life. Simple things like eating and talking feel almost impossible. And if you develop RAS, you rarely get a break from the pain.

Unlike cold sores, canker sores aren’t contagious, and they don’t occur outside the mouth. But just because no one can see or catch a canker sore doesn’t mean treatment should be any less urgent. 

This study had several objectives. We aimed to see if the Luminance RED device could reduce the pain of canker sores associated with RAS, speed up healing, and make the daily lives of each participant better.

Graphic: Real-World Study on the Luminance RED for Canker Sores

Light Therapy as a Potential Treatment for RAS

To accomplish our study objectives, we tested the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy (LLLT), sometimes known as low-level light therapy or photobiomodulation (PBM), as a treatment for RAS. 

Simply shining light on a lesion might not seem like an obvious treatment option until you get into the science of how light therapy works. Low-intensity light therapy triggers biochemical changes within cells and can be compared to the process of photosynthesis in plants.

Cellular photoreceptors within our body’s mitochondria absorb light photons, triggering chemical changes that promote tissue regeneration, prevent tissue damage, alleviate pain, and reduce inflammation. At the right power level (5–200 mW) and light wavelength (600–900 nm), these properties help accelerate wound healing and reduce pain for canker sore sufferers.

Light therapy is a relatively new technology, and we recognize the need for more studies to gauge its full potential. As leaders in the industry, we want to be on the forefront of innovation to provide only the best, most effective in-home treatment options. When we saw the gap in clinical research on light therapy for RAS, we decided to take on the challenge of conducting a study ourselves.

About the Study

The results of our study were highly encouraging and corresponded to the many other studies that support the vast potential of light therapy.

We tested the Luminance RED device’s ability to reduce the pain of an active canker sore associated with RAS, and we looked at how much the treatment could improve each participant’s ability to do everyday tasks.

Participants included 30 male and 30 female patients, all 18 or older. All participants had a history of RAS outbreaks of three days or less, with at least one painful ulcer currently on their soft palate, inner lips, cheeks, floor of their mouth, or tongue. No participants had used light therapy as a treatment for canker sores before. 

Those who had a pre-existing condition that predisposed them to RAS or those who were taking medication for RAS were not included in the study.

Graphic: Real-World Study on the Luminance RED for Canker Sores

A Closer Look at Study Methods

The study participants used the Luminance RED Mouth Sore Treatment Device to treat their canker sores for 60 seconds three times per day with at least four hours between each treatment. Every morning, they took photos of their sores and rated their ability to do everyday tasks, including eating, drinking, and brushing their teeth.

Participants rated pain using a 4-point visual analog scale (VAS) scale ranging from “no pain” to “severe pain.” When rating the difficulty of daily activities, they used three 4-point Likert scales with a cumulative possible score of between 3 and 12, selecting ratings ranging from “no difficulties” to “severe difficulties.”


What Did the Data Say?

The results of the study were exceptionally promising for light therapy as a possible treatment for RAS. 

Canker sore outbreaks were tracked for 11 participants. After the first day, overall pain scores decreased by 1.75 points on the 4-point scale, remaining low throughout the duration of treatment. An impressive 54.54% of participants reported that the device reduced their severity of pain. 

After the first day of treatment, participants also reported a decrease in their difficulty eating, drinking, and brushing their teeth, down an average of 5 points on the cumulative 4-point scales and remaining low throughout treatment.  

Outbreak duration also decreased by an average of 3 days, with 54.54% of participants agreeing that the light therapy treatment was effective in healing their outbreak more quickly.  

Graphic: Real-World Study on the Luminance RED for Canker Sores

What Does It All Mean?

Now for the big question: Did the Luminance RED device help treat the symptoms of RAS? 

The simple answer is YES! Over half of the study participants agreed that treatment with the Luminance RED device caused a reduction in pain and healing time, and the overall scores for difficulty of completing everyday activities dropped dramatically after just one day of treatment. 

Although this study’s sample size isn’t large enough to reach definitive conclusions, it strongly suggests that light therapy is a potential game-changer when it comes to treating the symptoms of RAS and canker sores in general. Our results show that light therapy can effectively reduce pain, healing time, and difficulty with everyday activities — all of which can improve quality of life for RAS sufferers!

After the study, each participant had the option of returning their Luminance RED device at no cost to them, or they could purchase the device outright. We were encouraged when the majority of study participants chose to purchase their Luminance RED devices in order to continue treating RAS outbreaks at home. If you’d like to try this treatment for yourself, you can order a Luminance RED Mouth Sore Treatment Device here.

We’re confident that with more research and data, we’ll see even more promising results from light therapy as a treatment for RAS and other conditions.

If you’re interested in participating in future studies using Luminance RED devices, please email us at info@luminancemedical.com.


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