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Bone and Dental

Mini 'light sabres' may battle gum disease

14 years, 6 months ago

1903  0
Posted on Apr 18, 2005, 7 p.m. By Bill Freeman

Mini “light sabres” might one day replace the toothbrush in the ongoing battle against gum disease and tooth decay, as scientists are working on a new hand-held device that kills only the “bad” bacteria.

The researchers, from the Forsyth Institute in Boston, US, say that just 2 minutes of oral illumination with the new device every day should be enough to prevent, control or treat gum disease. The blue light emitted will be more effective at eradicating harmful bacteria than antiseptic mouthwash, they say.

'”The patient feels nothing when blue light is applied to the dental pocket -, the area between the teeth and the gums where dental plaque resides,'” says researcher Nikos Soukos. “We think it will be particularly beneficial to those who don't like using a toothbrush.”

Soukos's team reports that the light kills the bacteria associated with gum disease but leaves “good” bacteria intact.

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