In a new study, researchers have developed a high-tech mouthwash for home use that kills the streptococcus mutans bacteria and the bacteria that cause gingivitis.
The treatment has been scientifically proven to reduce the markers indicating early gingivitis and plaque formation.
The research was conducted by Koite Health, which was founded by researchers from Aalto University and Helsinki University Hospital (HUS).
Nearly every person in the world gets cavities in their teeth at some point in their lives, and about 70% of the world’s population experience varying degrees of gingivitis.
According to the Health 2000 population survey, more than half of Finns aged 30 or over suffer from gum disease.
Undetected oral and chronic infections can contribute to the occurrence of many serious diseases, including heart diseases, diabetes, and lung cancer, and can increase the risk of premature delivery among expectant mothers.
Regularly brushing teeth is the best way to prevent dental disease—but it’s not always enough. Microscopic plaque is often left behind after brushing the teeth.
Treatment begins with a mouthwash containing a light-absorbing compound. The solution is rinsed around in the mouth for 30 seconds so the photosensitive substance contained in it sticks to the plaque.
The substance is activated with a photosensitizer placed between the teeth. Dual-light therapy is administered to the entire dental area for 10 minutes.
The team says the photosensitive substance in the effervescent tablet adheres to the surface structures of the bacteria. Red light activates the substance and initiates a chain-reaction that kills the bacteria.
Antibacterial blue light administered at the same time significantly enhances the effect.
Based on the studies, the treatment only affects the targeted bacteria, and the bacterial flora in the mouth remains diverse. Furthermore, dual-light therapy causes no bacterial resistance.
Dual-light therapy designed for home use will be launched for consumers in early 2020. Dentists are already familiar with light-activated antibacterial methods in clinical use, but dual-light innovation boosts the efficacy, and for the first time the method is provided for home use.
The new product was first tested on human subjects by treating the canine teeth on one side of the mouth once a day while leaving the canine teeth on the other side untreated as a control.
There were less plaque formation and other markers of gum disease on the side of the mouth with the treatment.
The researchers emphasize that thorough oral hygiene is still the best way to prevent dental diseases.
Dual-light therapy is particularly beneficial to people with aggressive strains of dental bacteria, chronic diseases or problems handling dental hygiene due to, for example, arthritis.
Other special groups include children and people with cancer.
The team especially hopes that the product we’ve developed will help maintain the oral health of cancer patients who are undergoing intensive treatments and prevent gingivitis in diabetics.
Diabetes causes a tenfold increase in the risk of gingivitis. The product is also suitable for daily tooth cleaning and maintenance of oral health.
One author of the study is Researcher Tommi Pätilä, who is a cardiac surgeon at New Children’s Hospital.
The study is available at Biorxiv.
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