Device Uses Blue Light to Kill Oral Pathogens

Dentistry Today


Photomedics, an oral health technology company headquartered at the Forsyth Institute, has developed and designed a functional, proprietary intraoral light device that has been proven to reduce the number of potentially pathogenic oral bacteria that can cause gum disease and bad breath and are linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, premature birth, and low birth weight. 

Conventional antibacterial oral care treatments such as mouthwashes disrupt the oral ecology of the mouth by indiscriminately killing all bacteria. But the patented Photomedics BlueLight floods the mouth with light of the appropriate wavelength and intensity to target and kill only the harmful, disease-causing bacteria. Helpful bacteria then can thrive and rebalance the oral microbiome.

Lightweight and ergonomically designed, the BlueLight is activated by an intuitive bite switch with recommended use twice a day for only two minutes. The BlueLight also can simultaneously enhance personal aesthetics while reducing disease-causing bacteria, according to the company. 

“Great ideas are born at Forsyth,” said Wenyuan Shi, PhD, CEO and chief scientific officer at Forsyth. “We are proud that our collaborative and experiential research environment fosters products like the Photomedics BlueLight, which we believe could revolutionize the way households approach their oral health habits.”

The discovery of the killing effects of blue light on certain potentially pathogenic oral bacteria in 2002 by Nikos Soukos, DDS, PhD, and J. Max Goodson, DDS, PhD, followed by their vision of the development of intraoral blue light technology as an adjunct to routine oral hygiene led to their founding of Photomedics in 2017.

“When Nikos and I first discovered the effects of oral blue light, we immediately recognized its importance,” said Goodson, chief scientific officer of Photomedics. “Through numerous studies, we have developed a user-friendly, one size fits all intraoral device that can reduce pathogenic bacteria and bad breath.”

“As a pioneer in oral microbiome research, Forsyth’s faculty and facilities have helped incubate Photomedics to what it is today,” said Soukos, CEO of Photomedics. “I am thrilled to see our product come to fruition. The Photomedics BlueLight will be the catalyst in changing societal oral health habits.”

Soukos and Goodson both have close ties to the Forsyth Institute. Soukos served as the founding director of Forsyth’s Applied Molecular Photomedicine Laboratory, and Goodson was the director of clinical research and senior member of the staff. The Forsyth Institute is acting as the cofounder and lead investor of the product.

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