Shining light on oral health

A Novel “AT Home” LED Light Therapy Oral Health Device

“Technology employing blue light to improve oral ecology could be the most important advancement in maintaining periodontal health since the invention of the toothbrush.”- Dr. Goodman D.D.S., Forsyth Institute  Harvard Medical School

Scientists at the Forsyth Institute(1) have found that blue light can be used to selectively suppress certain bacteria commonly associated with destructive gum disease

The research, published in the  Journal of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, suggests that light in the blue region of the visible spectrum is useful in preventing, controlling or treating periodontitis – an oral infection that can lead to loss of bone and teeth.

“Some of the key bacterial pathogens associated with periodontitis produce and accumulate compounds that are sensitive to light,” said Nikos Soukos, Director of the Forsyth Laboratory of Applied Molecular Photomedicine and the principal investigator. “We found that, when exposed to particular wavelengths of light, a percentage of those pathogens was eradicated within seconds.” Another important finding was that when the proportion of such pathogens was reduced, the proportion of other, potentially helpful, bacteria increased

The current research stemmed from an observation by Max Goodson, Director of Clinical Research at Forsyth, that the blue light used in a tooth whitening procedure appeared to decrease inflammation of the gums.

BACKGROUND – Previous Forsyth research has shown that as many as 700 different types of oral bacteria may be found in dental plaque that accumulates on teeth. While some bacteria appear to be benign or even helpful, others may invade and destroy gum tissue and bone—leading to loss of teeth, and, possibly, to infection elsewhere in the body.

Among the more destructive bacteria are so called “black-pigmented bacteria” (BPB) which have been implicated as pathogens associated with periodontitis . This bacteria accumulates black pigment organisms called porphyrins. These porphyrins are photosensitive, and, when activated by visible light , induce a photodynamic reaction which kills the microorganism within seconds.

In embarking on their research, Soukos and Goodson knew, from published reports, that porphyrins absorb blue light more readily than red or green light. The team used a device to shine mainly blue light (wavelengths ranging from 380 to 520 nanometers) on pure cultures of BPB and on dental plaque samples obtained from individuals with chronic periodontitis. They found that the light rapidly killed BPB  in pure cultures and that it selectively eliminated BPB in the plaque samples containing 500-600 different bacteria. The research team concluded that intraoral light exposure can selectively reduce pathogens in dental plaque.

The findings could lead to new methods of preventing or controlling periodontal disease. Such methods would be rapid, non-invasive and nontoxic, Sukos said.

  • HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL –  FORSYTH INSTITUTE  INFO The Forsyth Institute is the world’s leading independent research institute dedicated to improving oral health, and reducing interrelated systemic diseases and conditions. Forsyth’s portfolio includes basic, translational and clinical research, an active technology transfer and corporate relations effort, and community programs that benefit underserved populations locally, nationally and internationally.


Photobiomodulation Research Group

“Currently the application of LLLT in dentistry and for the treatment of oral disease is limited despite the worldwide growing evidence for its broad efficacious application. Some evidence is however now emerging in favour of the therapeutic application of LLLT in a wide range of oral hard and soft tissues areas, including key dental specialties such as; endodontics, periodontics, orthodontics, oral medicine and oral surgery.”(2)

“Further studies in this exciting therapeutic area are warranted to develop novel devices whose application is underpinned by a sound scientific basis. It is therefore the aim of our Photobiomodulation Research Group to undertake key projects and studies which will identify the physical and biological parameters necessary to enable optimal clinical efficacy.”

(2)Milward MR, Holder MJ, Palin WM, Hadis MA, Carroll JD, Cooper PR. Low level light therapy (LLLT) for the treatment and management of dental and oral diseases. Dent Update 2014; 41: 763-772.


LED Technologies, a leading global manufacturer of LED based Light Therapy Devices, set its sights on developing a novel LED Oral Therapy device which, produced the required light frequency, could be safely used as an “At Home” device and would fit comfortably into the mouth. Additionally at an affordable price.

The result of the Research and Development has been the production of the DPL Oral Care device which has gained FDA (USA) 510k approval.

The DPL device offers three types of light emitting diodes (LEDs) of Red, Infrared and Blue which are medically proven to effectively increase circulation to stimulate gum tissues, destroy harmful bacteria and relieve pain in as little as 10 minutes a day.

The unit fits easily into the mouth (similar to a mouth guard) to accommodate upper and lower teeth and gum areas while the powerful LED light wavelengths target the gums. A total of 30 powerful LEDs bathe the upper and lower gum areas. The specific wavelengths in the blue and red spectrum of light have been scientifically proven to kill harmful bacteria which is the root cause of gum disease and gingivitis. It is light weight, portable, and easy to use, the cordless mouthpiece offers one-button hands free operation


  • Kills bacteria that causes gum disease and bad breath
  • Reduces build-up of plaque and tartar
  • Treats and prevents gum issues including gingivitis and sores
  • Decreases tooth sensitivity and inflammation of the gums
  • Promotes overall healthier gums and teeth
  • Helps Denture-Related Stomatitis, Halitosis, and Erosion

Until recently Light Therapy Treatment was only available from your oral care professional. The development of, this reasonably priced “At Home” LED Oral Care Light Therapy unit, providing the same medical grade treatment for less than the cost of a single clinic visit has been a major game changer.