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Smile bright on World Smile Day: Tips for a healthier and happier mouth

Smile bright on World Smile Day: Tips for a healthier and happier mouth

Maintaining good oral health is essential for overall well-being and a healthy smile. Oral hygiene is essential for good dental health. Certain foods can also help improve oral health by promoting strong teeth, healthy gums, and fresh breath. Here are some tips for reaching better oral health and a brighter smile on World Smile Day:

Water: Staying hydrated is essential for saliva production. Saliva is an important defense mechanism in the mouth as it helps cleanse the mouth of bacteria and food particles. Adults should drink at least 1-1.5 liters per day, according to Jukka Meurman, Professor Emeritus of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases at the University of Helsinki. (1)

Dairy Products: Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in calcium and phosphorus, which help strengthen tooth enamel. In addition to lactose, calcium, and phosphorus, milk proteins have also been shown to affect dental health. Caseins are the most abundant group of proteins in bovine milk and account for approximately 80% of the total milk protein. (2)

Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables: Consuming foods with fiber help keep your teeth and gums clean, says the American Dental Association (ADA). Foods like apples, carrots, celery, and cucumbers are high in fiber and require chewing, which stimulates saliva production, thus, helping to maintain a healthy smile. According to studies, fruit consumption is also inversely associated with periodontal disease. (3)

Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium, folic acid, and B vitamins that promote oral health. (4)

Lean Proteins: Foods like chicken, turkey, and lean cuts of beef contain phosphorus, which is essential for strong teeth and bones. Lean proteins are rich in essential amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. These amino acids are vital for the growth, repair, and maintenance of gum tissue. (5)

Nuts and Seeds: These provide healthy fats, protein, and minerals like calcium and phosphorus that are beneficial for oral health.

Green Tea: Green tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and it has received growing attention because of its many scientifically proven beneficial effects on human health. Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins that can help reduce inflammation in the mouth and fight bacteria. (6)

Xylitol: Xylitol is a natural sweetener having the properties that reduce levels of mutans streptococci (MS) bacteria in dental plaque and saliva. Streptococcus mutans is the main cause of dental decay. Chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol can stimulate saliva production and help reduce the risk of tooth decay. The recommended daily dose of xylitol for dental caries prevention is 6–10 g/day. (7,8)

Lingonberries: Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis ideae L.) is a low-bush wild plant found in the northern hemisphere. The berries are used in traditional medicine in Finland to treat oral yeast infections. Lingonberries contain compounds similar to cranberries that may help prevent the adhesion of bacteria to the teeth, reducing the risk of cavities. Lingonberries are a promising natural approach with regards to their studied and recorded beneficial oral and general health effects via antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-proteolytic, anticancerous and antimicrobial effects. (8)

Unsweetened yogurt: Eating yogurt, particularly plain or low-sugar yogurt, can be beneficial for oral health and may help in controlling bad breath. Yogurt is a source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help balance the oral microbiome. An imbalanced oral microbiome can contribute to bad breath (halitosis). The best yogurts for dental health are plain and Greek yogurts because they often contain the highest amount of probiotics. Yogurt is also high in calcium which helps to keep your teeth strong.(9)

Raising oral hygiene to the next level

While drinking water and consuming many foods can be beneficial for oral health, it is important to remember that overall oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, are crucial for maintaining a healthy mouth. Additionally, reducing the consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and dental erosion.

Controlling oral biofilm, or dental plaque, is critical to preventing oral diseases such as gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth decay. Research has shown, however, that even a high-quality electric toothbrush removes only about 65% of the harmful bacteria in the mouth (10). 

Antibacterial Lumoral treatment enhances the effects of the toothbrush, and studies show that it also significantly improves in a preventive manner the results of professional oral care. Lumoral slows down plaque formation significantly reducing the burden of harmful bacteria in the mouth. (11)

User experience suggests that aPDT administered at home via the Lumoral® device may even improve dry mouth symptoms as it increases salivation. However, more scientific evidence is needed on the effect of the method on salivary secretion. New clinical trials on this topic are currently being initiated.


  1.  https://smiledrs.com/the-oral-health-benefits-of-drinking-water/
  2. Shkembi B, Huppertz T. Impact of Dairy Products and Plant-Based Alternatives on Dental Health: Food Matrix Effects. Nutrients. 2023 Mar 18;15(6):1469. doi: 10.3390/nu15061469. PMID: 36986199; PMCID: PMC10056336.
  3. Nielsen SJ, Trak-Fellermeier MA, Joshipura K, Dye BA. Dietary Fiber Intake Is Inversely Associated with Periodontal Disease among US Adults. J Nutr. 2016 Dec;146(12):2530-2536. doi: 10.3945/jn.116.237065. Epub 2016 Oct 26. PMID: 27798338; PMCID: PMC5118764.
  4. https://www.myperiopro.com/about-us/blog/2022/february/foods-that-boost-your-oral-health/
  5. Jayasinghe TN, Harrass S, Erdrich S, King S, Eberhard J. Protein Intake and Oral Health in Older Adults-A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2022 Oct 25;14(21):4478. doi: 10.3390/nu14214478. PMID: 36364741; PMCID: PMC9653899.
  6. Chatterjee A, Saluja M, Agarwal G, Alam M. Green tea: A boon for periodontal and general health. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2012 Apr;16(2):161-7. doi: 10.4103/0972-124X.99256. PMID: 23055579; PMCID: PMC3459493.
  7. Nayak PA, Nayak UA, Khandelwal V. The effect of xylitol on dental caries and oral flora. Clin Cosmet Investig Dent. 2014 Nov 10;6:89-94. doi: 10.2147/CCIDE.S55761. PMID: 25422590; PMCID: PMC4232036.
  8. Pärnänen P, Lähteenmäki H, Tervahartiala T, Räisänen IT, Sorsa T. Lingonberries-General and Oral Effects on the Microbiome and Inflammation. Nutrients. 2021 Oct 23;13(11):3738. doi: 10.3390/nu13113738. PMID: 34835994; PMCID: PMC8623866.
  9. GF Ferrazzano, T Cantile, M Quarto, A Ingenito, L Chianese, F Addeo, Protective effect of yogurt extract on dental enamel demineralization in vitro, First published: 27 November 2008 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1834-7819.2008.00072.x
  10. Pakarinen, Saila, et al. "Home-Applied Dual-Light Photodynamic Therapy in the Treatment of Stable Chronic Periodontitis (HOPE-CP)—Three-Month Interim Results." Dentistry Journal 10.11 (2022): 206
  11. Neha Aggarwal, Sunil Gupta, Rashu Grover, Gunmeen Sadana, and Karan Bansal; Plaque Removal Efficacy of Different Toothbrushes: A Comparative Study, Int J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2019 Sep-Oct; 12(5): 385–390.  doi: 10.5005/jp-journals-10005-1669


The Heart of the Matter: Exploring the Link Between Oral Health and Heart Health on World Heart Day 2023

The Heart of the Matter: Exploring the Link Between Oral Health and Heart Health on World Heart Day 2023

World Heart Day, launched by the World Heart Federation (WHF), is celebrated each year on the 29th of September. The global event aims to raise awareness and encourage action for heart health.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the Western world. The most common cardiovascular diseases are coronary heart disease, heart failure, and cerebrovascular disorders. More than 20.5 million people die from these diseases each year. Cardiovascular diseases affect the heart and blood vessels, leading to severe and possibly even fatal complications. However, the WHF estimates that 80% of premature deaths from the disease are preventable (1).

 By making small changes to our lifestyles, we can better manage our heart health and beat cardiovascular disease, the WHF encourages.

Such changes include actions that help improve oral health. Good oral hygiene is more than just a beautiful smile. It is essential to look after your teeth and mouth because even seemingly harmless oral conditions can put you at risk of serious diseases.

Oral pathogens are not limited to the mouth

Tommi Pätilä, a cardiac and transplant surgeon at the New Children’s Hospital (HUS), stresses that a healthy heart requires a healthy mouth and thorough daily oral hygiene. Oral biofilm bacteria are the cause of 95 percent of dental diseases.

– Simple measures such as regular brushing and cleaning of the interdental spaces and regular dental check-ups can help prevent the onset of gum disease and, at the same time, minimise the risk of bacteria or their structures in the mouth entering the bloodstream and spreading to the rest of the body, says Pätilä.

Even chewing food can spread bacteria or parts of bacteria that cause oral infections to the rest of the body through infected gums. This results in a persistent inflammatory condition within the body, which may subsequently give rise to serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, Pätilä notes. 

– On the other hand, sudden problems occur when live bacteria infect the heart valves, Pätilä continues.

In 2016, Pätilä operated on a severe bacterial heart valve infection and was motivated to make a difference in oral health. 

– It turned out that the cause of the patient’s severe heart infection was bacteria from the mouth. At that point, I knew something had to be done to combat the residual plaque that causes disease and plagues in peoples’ mouths despite brushing and flossing.

Pätilä is one of three Finnish researchers who have developed the antibacterial Lumoral method. Lumoral is a patented medical device that treats and prevents oral diseases at home. The Lumoral treatment can remove 99.99% of plaque bacteria from the tooth surface (2).

Prevention and early diagnosis pays off

– In contrast to commonly held beliefs, a toothbrush is only capable of eliminating approximately 60% of oral biofilm. It's no surprise then that cavities and gingivitis stand as the most prevalent diseases worldwide. If we want to improve oral health outcomes, we need to tackle the plaque left behind by tooth brushing, says Timo Sorsa, Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases at the University of Helsinki.

In Finland, it is estimated that up to two out of three people over 30 suffer from periodontitis. This common gum disease can lead to tooth loss if left untreated – but it is also linked to severe heart events. According to a study, individuals with periodontal disease are 30% more likely to experience a first heart attack compared to their healthy counterparts of the same age (3).

According to another study published in the Journal of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease were almost twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease (CAD) than those with healthy gums (4). 

Meanwhile, a 2020 European Journal of Preventive Cardiology report found that poor oral health was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly among those with gum disease (5).

Professor Sorsa stresses that periodontal disease prevention is vital to maintaining a patient’s oral and overall health.

– Untreated periodontitis leads to low-grade inflammation that affects the whole body, contributing to conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and potentially even cancer.

Periodontitis revealed in minutes

According to Professor Sorsa, in the long term, the prevention and rapid diagnosis of periodontal disease benefit the patient, public health, and the economy. This is also possible with the new modern diagnostic and treatment methods available that are revolutionising the whole field of dentistry.

Professor Sorsa’s extensive research career has long focused on developing an immunological rapid test for active matrix metalloproteinase-8 (aMMP-8). The quick test can detect whether a person’s gum tissue is undergoing periodontal breakdown before it is visually apparent. 

The test can be performed by a healthcare professional or the consumer independently at home – similar to the COVID-19 antigen test or the traditional rapid pregnancy test (6).

–The aMMP-8 rapid test can measure and assess active periodontal adhesive tissue loss and the risk of its progression within five minutes in the dental chair non-invasively, i.e. without disturbing the tissue under examination. The test complements the diagnosis, follow-up, and maintenance treatment of periodontitis and peri-implantitis, says Professor Sorsa.

When discussing new treatment methods and prevention of periodontitis, he highlights Lumoral therapy. He calls Lumoral a drug-free alternative for treating and preventing severe gum disease. 

– Lumoral enhances the effect of the toothbrush, and studies show that it also significantly improves the results of professional oral care. At the same time, the device can potentially reduce the need to use drugs traditionally used to treat gum disease, such as antibiotics and chlorhexidine.

Based on photodynamic therapy, a light-activated antibacterial effect, Lumoral slows down plaque formation and significantly reduces the burden of harmful bacteria in the mouth. The product’s user profile is suitable for all ages, but it is particularly recommended for those with a history of problems with common oral diseases, tooth decay, and gum disease (2).


  1. https://world-heart-federation.org/news/deaths-from-cardiovascular-disease-surged-60-globally-over-the-last-30-years-report/
  2. Pakarinen, S., Saarela, R. K. T., Välimaa, H., Heikkinen, A. M., Kankuri, E., Noponen, M., Alapulli, H., Tervahartiala, T., Räisänen, I. T., Sorsa, T., & Pätilä, T. (2022). Home-Applied Dual-Light Photodynamic Therapy in the Treatment of Stable Chronic Periodontitis (HOPE-CP) Three-Month Interim Results. Dentistry Journal, 10(11), [206]. https://doi.org/10.3390/dj10110206
  3. Rydén L, Buhlin K, Ekstrand E, de Faire U, Gustafsson A, Holmer J, Kjellström B, Lindahl B, Norhammar A, Nygren Å, Näsman P, Rathnayake N, Svenungsson E, Klinge B: Periodontitis Increases the Risk of a First Myocardial Infarction. A Report From the PAROKRANK Study. 13.1.2016 Circulation. 2016;133:576–583 https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.020324
  4. Nesarhoseini V, Khosravi M. Periodontitis as a risk factor in non-diabetic patients with coronary artery disease. ARYA Atheroscler. 2010 Fall;6(3):106-11. PMID: 22577425; PMCID: PMC3347825.
  5. Pirkko J Pussinen, Eija Könönen, Oral health: A modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular diseases or a confounded association?, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, Volume 23, Issue 8, 1 May 2016, Pages 834–838, https://doi.org/10.1177/2047487316636506
  6. Sorsa, T., Lähteenmäki, H., Pärnänen, P., Tervahartiala, T., Mäkitie, A. Pätilä, T. &   Räisänen, I. T., (2022). Aktiivisen MMP-8:n vieritestaus ja pikadiagnostiikka, Suomen Hammaslääkärilehti 2022; 14: 26–33. 


Koite Health signs Lumoral® deal with Dental Warehouse – UK’s leading distribution and fulfillment warehouse

Koite Health signs Lumoral® deal with Dental Warehouse – UK’s leading distribution and fulfillment warehouse

Finnish health technology company Koite Health Oy has signed a distribution agreement with Dental Warehouse Ltd. of the UK. Following the accord, Dental Warehouse will offer UK consumers and oral health professionals Lumoral® – the latest technology for improved oral health self-care.

Dental Warehouse is the leading distribution and fulfillment warehouse in the UK. The company sees Lumoral as a strong addition to its product portfolio, giving it a competitive edge in the dental industry. 

According to Alexandra Davis from Dental Warehouse, Lumoral’s unique technology – developed in collaboration with Finnish scientists and medical professionals – offers innovative plaque-targeting treatment capabilities, setting it apart from traditional oral care products. 

– The technology addresses plaque-related issues promptly, helping prevent severe oral health problems such as cavities and gum disease. Davis highlights that Lumoral caters to dental professionals and proactive consumers, expanding its target market.

Koite Health Ltd. will provide Dental Warehouse access to innovative and unique technology for dental plaque-targeted treatment through the agreement. 

– This can help differentiate us from competitors and attract customers seeking advanced oral care solutions, Davis says. 

Comprehensive oral health management

Poor oral health is a global concern that has prompted even the World Health Organization (WHO) to react. WHO estimates that oral diseases affect nearly 3.5 billion people globally. In 2022, the World Health Assembly adopted the global strategy on oral health with a vision of universal health coverage for oral health for all individuals and communities by 2030.

Poor oral health also affects children. The Oral Health Foundation of the UK called in March for urgent action after a new report by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities highlights a “catastrophic rise in childhood tooth extractions”.

Figures released by the UK-based charity reveal an 83% increase in 0–19-year-olds admitted to hospital for tooth extractions under general anaesthetic due to tooth decay. There were 26,741 tooth extractions on 0–19-year-olds due to tooth decay between 2021-2022.

According to the report, significant disparities exist between areas within the UK. For example, Yorkshire and the Humber rates are over five times that of the East Midlands.

Alexandra Davis estimates that the UK dental market will reach a value of £9.62 billion in 2022. 46% of UK adults have visited a National Health Service (NHS) dentist in the last 12 months. 57% of people who have visited a dentist in the last five years received a general examination or check-up. 70% of British citizens use self-payment for their dental treatments.

Davis highlights a continuous need to improve prevention among patients in the UK regarding the oral health of adults and children. 

– While dental professionals emphasise the importance of preventive care, there are still areas where patients can benefit from better understanding and implementing preventive practices, she continues.

This is where new oral health-enhancing technologies such as Lumoral come in handy.

Lumoral is changing the future of dental care at home

Research shows that Lumoral's antibacterial aPDT phototherapy technology effectively eliminates harmful bacteria in the mouth while treating advanced gum disease. Similar light-activated antibacterial treatments have already been used in dental clinics. However, the problem has been the cost and frequency of these treatments to provide sufficient efficacy. 

Lumoral is a health technology product with a medical device status for treating and preventing oral diseases at home. Many dentists and the Finnish Association of Dental Hygienists already recommend the new teeth cleaning method, which improves traditional oral hygiene. Lumoral treatment does not replace mechanical oral hygiene but enhances it. Lumoral is also available for children aged four and above.

– Solid scientific evidence enhances the understanding of Lumoral's efficacy and showcases its benefits in treating periodontitis. Scientific backing helps to instill confidence in the effectiveness of Lumoral and contribute to its credibility within the dental industry, Davis says. 

Preventive health care, which includes using the antibacterial Lumoral method, will quickly pay for itself, bringing significant savings to society. This applies not only to dental care but to the entire healthcare system. Lumoral supports regular mechanical dental hygiene, helps achieve gum health, and prevents inflammation when regular dental hygiene is insufficient.

Dental Warehouse aims to provide its customers with the best possible modern treatment for oral diseases. Lumoral will be offered through dental practices through the Dental Warehouse website.

– This novel technology can appeal to individuals or organisations seeking advanced solutions in oral health. Dental plaque is a widespread issue that affects a large population. David highlights that Lumoral's ability to treat dental plaque efficiently can entice individuals and dental professionals looking for an effective tool to address this common oral health problem.

Davis continues that Lumoral's plaque-targeting capabilities align with the increasing emphasis on preventive healthcare. By proactively addressing dental plaque, Lumoral may help prevent more severe oral health issues, such as cavities and gum disease, without negatively affecting oral bacteria balance. This preventive aspect can attract those interested in maintaining optimal oral health.

According to Davis, increased awareness of oral health and hygiene drives the growing demand for advanced oral care solutions. Lumoral, with its innovative technology and ability to provide comprehensive oral health management, may meet this demand and be seen as a valuable addition to the market.

Taking oral health to a new level

Sakari Nikinmaa, Koite Health's CEO, says that partnership with the Dental Warehouse team is essential for Lumoral, enabling the company to serve dental professionals and their patients better in the UK. 

– By working with Dental Warehouse, we can take oral health to a new level in the UK and provide patients and consumers with the best possible treatment experience and outcomes. Koite Health's clinical results and the expertise of Dental Warehouse are perfectly combined with Lumoral's unique features and efficiency, says Nikinmaa.

The global oral healthcare market is estimated to be worth €470 billion. Koite Health aims to capture a share of it with their Lumoral solution. The company already has thousands of satisfied customers and ambitious future growth targets. Now, the aim is to make Lumoral a major global brand in the oral healthcare market through international partnerships.

– Our strategy is to partner with industry leaders to raise awareness among professionals about the Lumoral product and its benefits and to build a global sales structure to secure product availability globally, says Nikinmaa, one of the founders of Koite Health.


Sakari Nikinmaa, Co-founder and CEO of Koite Health Oy.