Health & Wellbeing

Light-activated mouthwash kills cavity-causing bacteria

Light-activated mouthwash kill...
The mouthwash-activating Lumoral mouthpiece, which emits both red and blue light
The mouthwash-activating Lumoral mouthpiece, which emits both red and blue light
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The mouthwash-activating Lumoral mouthpiece, which emits both red and blue light
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The mouthwash-activating Lumoral mouthpiece, which emits both red and blue light
Left: An electron microscope image showing dead Streptococcus mutans bacteria with the Lumorinse stuck to their surface – Right: The Lumoral mouthpiece
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Left: An electron microscope image showing dead Streptococcus mutans bacteria with the Lumorinse stuck to their surface – Right: The Lumoral mouthpiece

For many cavity-prone people, tooth-brushing often just isn't enough. It was with such folks in mind that a new mouthwash-based system was recently developed, which reportedly uses light to kill problematic bacteria.

Due to be commercially released later this year, the Lumoral system was developed by Finnish startup Koite Health – the company was founded by scientists from Aalto University and Helsinki University Hospital.

The idea is that users will start by swishing the system's Lumorinse mouthwash around in their mouth for 30 seconds. Even after the mouthwash is subsequently spit out, a proprietary photosensitive substance in it will remain bonded to the surface of bacteria present in the plaque on their teeth.

More specifically, the substance sticks to plaque-producing streptococcus mutans bacteria, along with bacteria that cause gingivitis. The mouth's "good bacteria" remain unaffected.

Left: An electron microscope image showing dead Streptococcus mutans bacteria with the Lumorinse stuck to their surface – Right: The Lumoral mouthpiece
Left: An electron microscope image showing dead Streptococcus mutans bacteria with the Lumorinse stuck to their surface – Right: The Lumoral mouthpiece

Users then place a light-emitting mouthpiece between their teeth, and leave it there for 10 minutes. During that time, red light from the device is absorbed by the substance, initiating a chain reaction that reportedly kills the targeted bacteria. The mouthpiece simultaneously emits blue light, which is said to boost the antibacterial effect.

Finally, users brush their teeth as they usually would, removing the plaque.

And while there are already clinical setups that use light to eliminate cavity- and gum disease-causing bacteria, Lumoral is claimed to be unique in that it utilizes two types of light, and is designed for home use. It can be preordered now, via the first of the two links below.

Sources: Lumoral, Aalto University

1 comment
paul314
Do people do the 10-minutes of gadget-in-the-mouth every day?