Photodynamic Therapy For Periodontal Diseases

Dentistry Today


As the scientific community is seeking alternatives to antibiotic treatment, periodontal researchers found that photodynamic therapy (PDT) is advantageous for suppressing anaerobic bacteria that lead to periodontal diseases, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology. PDT involves 2 stages; in the first stage, a light-sensitive drug is applied. The second stage involves shining a light or laser directly on the area treated with the drug. When the light is combined with the drug, phototoxic reactions are induced which destroy bacterial cells. The Food and Drug Administration first approved PDT in 1999 to treat precancerous skin lesions of the face or scalp. In this study, still in its early phase, researchers investigated anaerobic bacterial strains and facultative anaerobic bacteria. The photosensitizers that were investigated were able to completely suppress the anaerobic key pathogens leading to periodontal diseases; however, facultative anaerobic bacteria tested responded to a lesser extent to PDT. To specifically address the periodontal pockets in the body, the test tube results are presently being verified in several animal and human experiments.

(Source: American Academy of Periodontology.)