Duodecim, Finland's leading medical association, has published the book "The Healing Power of Medicine" (Lääketieteen Parantava Voima), which presents Finnish advancements in healthcare for disease prevention, easier diagnosis, and more effective treatment. The book also introduces Lumoral treatment, an antibacterial oral hygiene method recognized as one of Finland's significant breakthroughs in dentistry.
Edited by Emerita Professor Anne Pitkäranta, Professor Kaija-Leena Kolho, and Emeritus Professor Kimmo Kontula, the book emphasizes the importance of scientific research in society and its impact on healthcare outcomes.
The book highlights the antibacterial Lumoral method, now available in 16 European countries. In the article "Light for Teeth" (Valoa hampaille), one of the developers of Lumoral, a specialist in heart and organ transplant surgery, Dr. Tommi Pätilä, discusses the method's origin and its potential to revolutionize oral health on both individual and societal levels.
"Dental and periodontal diseases are among the most common chronic infectious diseases worldwide. Chronic inflammation of the supporting tissues of the teeth, periodontitis, is considered a public health problem due to its prevalence as the sixth most common disease globally," Dr. Pätilä points out.
Lumoral is an antibacterial and light-activated oral hygiene method used as part of a regular oral hygiene routine, alongside brushing and interdental cleaning. Research shows that Lumoral treatment slows plaque formation and significantly reduces the number of bacteria in the mouth, which contribute to gum inflammation.
According to Dr. Pätilä, incorporating light-activated and antibacterial treatment into daily oral hygiene routines enhances the effectiveness of tooth cleaning, especially when traditional oral hygiene methods fall short.
"Lumoral treatment is suitable for everyone but is particularly beneficial for individuals with oral health issues. The method also freshens breath. Its antimicrobial effect targets harmful bacteria in the mouth while preserving the normal bacterial flora that maintains oral health," Dr. Pätilä explains.
Rapid Diagnosis - Effective Disease Management
Dr. Tommi Pätilä also contributes to another article in the book, "Finnish Oral Medicine Innovations Enable Rapid Diagnosis and Plaque Control for Gum Disease" (Suomalaiset suulääketieteelliset innovaatiot mahdollistavat iensairauden pikadiagnostiikan ja plakkikontrollin). The article discusses significant Finnish advancements, particularly in diagnosing and treating severe gum diseases. The article also emphasizes the connection between periodontitis and various systemic diseases. Therefore, early detection and treatment of the disease are crucial.
To expedite the diagnosis of periodontitis, researchers from the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital have developed chairside testing based on active matrix metalloproteinase-8 (aMMP-8) markers. The test complements the diagnosis of periodontitis and peri-implantitis and monitors treatment response and maintenance. It can be performed by a healthcare professional or independently by the patient at home, similar to COVID-19 antigen or traditional pregnancy tests.
Dr. Pätilä highlights that untreated periodontitis or peri-implantitis sustains and intensifies the body's low-grade systemic inflammation and is associated with several systemic diseases. Therefore, early diagnosis of gum diseases is essential. Rapid diagnosis also allows for the prompt initiation of effective treatment, halting or preventing disease progression. With the Lumoral method, patients can enhance their self-care at home.
"Low-grade inflammation is a condition where the body reacts to irritation by secreting mediators. Although the body's 'muted' inflammation is not a disease in itself, prolonged inflammation becomes harmful to health, especially in the aforementioned systemic diseases," Dr. Pätilä says.
Poor oral health incurs additional diseases for both individuals and society, emphasizes Professor Timo Sorsa, professor of oral and maxillofacial diseases at the University of Helsinki and developer of the aMMP-8 rapid test.
"Finnish dental and periodontal diagnostic and therapeutic inventions may significantly impact the detection, treatment, and prevention of the world's sixth most common disease, periodontitis/peri-implantitis. They also enable plaque and gum disease control," states an article in book.
"The Healing Power of Medicine - 100 Stories from Cells to Applications," edited by Emerita Professor Anne Pitkäranta, Professor Kaija-Leena Kolho, and Emeritus Professor Kimmo Kontula, 1st edition 2024, 365 pages, paperback
"The Healing Power of Medicine," edited by Emerita Professor Anne Pitkäranta (right), Professor Kaija-Leena Kolho, and Emeritus Professor Kimmo Kontula, is a testament to the importance of research in society. Vilja Harala (Duodecim)