On the heels of the news about blue light and hydrogen peroxide for fighting a number of oral diseases comes news of a new treatment for fighting specifically plaque using a bright light and a special molecule.
First of all, I want to point out the difference between Light or Phototherapy and Photodynamic Therapy. Photo or Light Therapy involves the use of light, of any wavelength, to treat a condition naturally by shining the light on or near the affected area, or in some cases, on the body in general. Photodynamic Therapy, on the other hand, involves a foreign substance or chemical compound that is ‘activated’ by the application of light.
The advantage of photodynamic therapy is that a chemical that is generally harmless can be applied to a broad area, while only areas where the treatment is needed can be activated by the light. In cancer patients, this means that cancerous cells can be targeted specifically. The more traditional treatments, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, on the other hand, target the entire body.
So, with that in mind, here’s the new finding:
A molecule that targets only plaque in the mouth has been identified. This molecule in its normal state, is inert. However, when activated by a bright light, the molecules kill the plaque that has absorbed them. Potential ‘home use’ would include a liquid ‘mouth wash’ that could be purchased and swished, and a special tooth brush with a light at its tip that would ‘activate’ the mouth wash, killing plaque even in the harder to reach areas.
More information can be found here: