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Open Access Dental clinical application of a new radical sterilization technology

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A new antimicrobial technique based on H2O2 photolysis has been developed at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry to treat periodontal disease. Utilising free radicals to eliminate damage-causing bacteria, the system will reduce the need for surgery and extended antibiotics.

Periodontal disease is an infection caused by bacteria in dental plaque that proliferate and cause inflammation in surrounding tissues. A survey on dental diseases conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan in 2016 revealed that occurrence of periodontal disease in Japan increases with age. Individuals over 55 years old are one of the most susceptible groups, as periodontitis cases tend to be more aggressive and develop faster in this age group.

Periodontitis is considered a silent disease, and unlike dental caries, symptoms are often painless and discreet. Thus, patients are often unaware of the necessity to seek treatment. Left untreated, periodontitis alters gingival tissue and destroys the bone underneath, causing tooth loss. Such changes severely affect the quality of life as chewing is compromised. As life expectancy increases with medical advances, management of periodontal disease is becoming an emergent healthcare issue. Bacterial infections are a result of the commensal and opportunistic nature of bacteria, which in turn translates into a high and transversal prevalence of this disease among the adult population.

Through a series of collaborative projects with industry, academia and government groups, Professor Keiichi Sasaki, former president of Japan's Prosthodontic Society and current Dean of Tohoku University School of Dentistry and his research group have developed a novel therapeutic device for periodontitis treatment that harnesses the oxidative power of free radicals to kill pathogenic bacteria.
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Keywords: ANTIMICROBIAL TECHNIQUE; BACTERIA IN DENTAL PLAQUE; BACTERIAL INFECTIONS; FREE RADICALS; GINGIVAL TISSUE; H2O2 PHOTOLYSIS; INFLAMMATION; NOVEL THERAPEUTIC DEVICE; PATHOGENIC BACTERIA; PERIODONTAL DISEASE; PERIODONTITIS TREATMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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