Light-Activated Dental Disease Defense

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A fascinating new study with lab rats has shown there may be an new way to combat periodontal disease in the future.

The Journal of Periodontology recently reported that a form of photodynamic therapy, which uses a light-activated agent, can transiently retard the progression of periodontal disease in rats. The agent in this case, methylene blue, can get inside and kill germs with or without light, but light can make it work more potently. After 15 days, rats that received a treatment of light-activated methylene blue showed significantly less bone loss than rats who received no treatment or methylene blue without light-activation.

“This is an exciting finding,” Dr. Preston D. Miller, Jr., president of the American Academy of Periodontology, told Reuters Health. “Photodynamic therapy could prove to be a preferable alternative to antibiotic therapy.”

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