A major gingivitis research in Europe reveals a grim fact: brushing your teeth is not enough – Finnish innovation treats and prevents periodontitis efficiently
The breakthrough study shows that eliminating the bacteria contained in dental plaque should be as vital a part of dental hygiene as brushing your teeth and flossing.
HELSINKI, Finland (October 13, 2022) Europe’s largest periodontitis study is currently being carried out at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. The first results of the three-year study indicate clearly that using the Lumoral device created by Finnish health tech company Koite Health reduces gingivitis and improves dental hygiene significantly. Lumoral utilizes an efficient antibacterial method developed by Finnish researchers that eliminates disease-causing bacteria from dental plaque.
Periodontitis, a chronic infection caused by bacteria, is a disease that affects as many as 70% of people in Western countries. Periodontitis is the sixth most common disease in the world that can also lead to other conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Infections in the mouth are mainly caused by accumulated dental plaque, that can lead to tartar buildup if not removed properly.
Brushing and flossing isn’t enough – more than half of the participants achieved healthy gums after only three months of antibacterial treatment
The report covering the three-month results has been sent for publishing in a special edition of Dentistry Journal. The report is currently available at Preprints. The study shows that 54 percent (N=59) of participants that used Lumoral were healed from inflammation of the gums based on the BOP(bleeding on probing) index – 2.5 times more than in the control group that didn’t use the device. In the control group, only 22 percent of participants had healthy gums after three months. The participants that used Lumoral had a significantly lower amount of plaque build-up, whereas the control group still had the same amount of plaque left.
”You can only remove half of the plaque by brushing your teeth – it’s no wonder cavities and gingivitis are among the most common diseases in the world. If we want to improve the results of dental care treatments, we need to focus on removing the plaque that is left on the teeth after brushing them”, says Professor Timo Sorsa from the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases at the University of Helsinki.
“Our hypothesis was correct: because 95 percent of dental diseases are caused by bacteria in the plaque, regularly eliminating dental plaque improves dental hygiene as well as prevents and treats dental and gum disease. The results are exceptional and prove that using Lumoral when treating gum disease makes the treatment a lot more efficient than before”, explains one of the developers of Lumoral, heart surgeon Tommi Pätilä.
Deep gum pockets can store bacteria: Lumoral removes bacteria from where your toothbrush can’t reach
In periodontitis, the advanced gum inflammation caused by plaque and tartar damages the periodontal fibers. This leads to deepening of the gum pockets. As the disease advances, the infection causes a loss of tissue, and ultimately may lead to losing one or more teeth. Periodontitis is prevalent, as up to half of over 50-year-olds suffer from the disease. Taking good care of dental hygiene is important, but in cases of chronic gum disease, the gum pockets need to be regularly cleaned by a professional. However, cleaning gum pockets with traditional methods can be difficult, which leads to more bacteria filling the pockets, thus causing further infections.
“Periodontitis is often asymptomatic for a long time. Unfortunately, pain is often the first motivator to get treated”,Sorsa continues.
The research shows that two out of three (67%) participants that used the Lumoral device were able to reduce the number of deep gum pockets by half compared to the initial situation. Four participants were able to completely eradicate deep gum pockets. The results are significantly better than the participants in the control group.
“We want to permanently improve at-home dental hygiene. Before, advanced gingivitis has only been treated at the dentist, where the waiting lists are long and the treatment might be expensive. Using the Lumoral device combined with proper treatment from professionals reduces the number of infections in the mouth. Without proper at-home care, treatment done by oral health professionals is not as effective as desired, either, so using Lumoral is also beneficial for them. We expect the further results to be even better after the participants have been using Lumoral regularly for six months”, Pätilä concludes.
About the study and Lumoral
In the study carried out at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, periodontitis is treated with the currently best-known methods that include teaching the participants a proper toothbrushing technique and providing them with new, modern electric toothbrushes. The teeth and gum pockets of all participants are cleaned properly before the study commences. After that, the participants are divided into two groups. One of the groups will use the antibacterial Lumoral method at home and the other group is a control group and won’t use the Lumoral device. The participants’ oral health is checked after three months and again after six months in total.
Both groups consist of 100 participants that already suffer from periodontitis. The research is carried out in groups of 50. In the research, every tooth is measured from six different measuring points. For example, if a participant has 25 teeth, they will have 150 measuring points in total. Bleeding gums are a sign of the periodontitis advancing and causing damage in the mouth.
The Lumoral device combines antibacterial photodynamic treatment (aPDT) with antibacterial blue light (aBL). The Lumoral method is based on the antibacterial “red” PDT-light that promotes oral health and how it activates the light-sensitive Lumorinse mouth rinse, thus creating a reaction that eliminates harmful bacteria from the mouth. There is no similar product on the market, and similar treatment has only been provided at dental clinics.
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Koite Health is a Finnish health tech company whose innovation, Lumoral, based on dual-light therapy has revolutionized Finnish preventive dental care. The company's expert team consists of experienced doctors and technology experts. Founders Sakari Nikinmaa and Tommi Pätilä founded Koite Health in September 2018 with the help of the Biodesign project and the commercialization project funded by Business Finland and Aalto University.
Lumoral, developed by the company, is a teeth cleaning device that is used in addition to regular tooth brushing. The device is suitable for everyone, but is especially beneficial for those with cavities or gingivitis. Lumoral has been scientifically developed, and its antibacterial effect is well established. Lumoral is a class II medical and CE approved device, and more than 5,000 units have been sold so far.