Obtaining dental care is more difficult during the current pandemic and this is causing an increase in dental problems such as dental cavity formation and gum disease. Researchers have introduced a home-use method for the reduction and prevention of dental disease.
Evidence suggests that patients with periodontitis and cavities have an increased risk of developing serious health problems including potentially more severe COVID symptoms. Researchers at Aalto University and Helsinki University Hospital in Finland have developed a home-use device to clean bacteria from teeth and gum surfaces. The Helsinki based research team believes this new innovation significantly improves dental hygiene and enhances home care, especially during times when reduced availability of dental appointments can exacerbate problems. The team has commercialized their research, and the light activated mouthwash treatment is now available from their spinoff company Koite Health.
CEO of Koite Health, Mr. Sakari Nikinmaa, showing the research commercialized as Lumoral product.
COVID-19 has significantly reduced access to regular treatment at dental clinics resulting in concern for increase in chronic oral disease and the subsequent risk of serious infection. Chronic inflammation has been linked to over 100 chronic diseases and to a 22 times higher risk of COVID-19 related respiratory involvement . Dental diseases are among the most common kinds of chronic inflammation. According to researchers, their home-use solution, Lumoral, is designed for those who are or who may be troubled by oral diseases despite a regular oral hygiene routine.
Gum disease-causing Porphyromonas Gingivalis bacteria untreated (left) and Lumoral treated (right).
Streptococcus mutans bacteria on a hydroxyapatite disc (a tooth surface model). Scanning electron microscopic image.
Lumoral – antibacterial therapy targeted at dental plaque
The group recently published a clinical study, whereby the use of Lumoral reduced the number of dental pathogens which cause periodontitis and cavities, inhibited dental plaque formation, and reduced active gum inflammation . “This study supports and extends our previous research, states Sakari Nikinmaa, the CEO of Koite Health. The research group published data concerning the antibacterial efficacy of their method against one of the most important dental pathogens, Streptococcus mutans, earlier this year. “The method has been proven to work with high efficacy and this innovative science came just in time to help people suffering from certain aspects relating to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nikinmaa adds.
Lumoral was launched in Finland in mid-2020, and so far, over 100,000 treatments have been completed. Customer feedback on the product and its effect on oral hygiene has been excellent. “With daily use, our customers have reported reduced gingival bleeding, tartar formation, and fresher breath. Most importantly, we have increasing evidence of the positive effects on periodontal tissues. This is an area where we can really improve health all around the world,” says Nikinmaa.With its successful initial launch in Finland Koite Health is now expanding product distribution globally with the first focus being on Europe and selected countries in Asia.
 Indocyanine Green-Assisted and LED-Light-Activated Antibacterial Photodynamic Therapy Reduces Dental Plaque.
Nikinmaa S, Meurman J, Moilanen N, Sorsa T, Rantala J, Alapulli H, Kankuri E, Kotiranta A, Auvinen P, Pätilä T.
Dent. J. 2021, 9(5), 52; doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/dj9050052