Apr, 2022 - By WMR
The new prototype tool uses a low-power light system for monitoring reactions with a florescent dye solution to detect the location of teeth enamel at most risk of tooth decay from acidity
Cavity causes various tooth problems and it is a clear sign of tooth decay. However, the onset of cavities also show warning signs before it starts. Now a team of scientists from University of Washington developed optical device that is design for revealing part of teeth at risk by finding out hotspot of high acidity in dental plaque.
Consumption of excess sugar or starch without proper oral care leads to build up of dental plaque. The bacteria present on teeth form plaque which is a sticky and clear coating that hardens later. The acid present in this plaque starts slowly eliminate enamel and causes erosion of teeth. The new solution developed by the scientist involves use of chemical dye approved by FDA and then applying LED light through a probe built for this, creates fluorescent reactions, which are then transmitted to a central box. The new device termed as O-pH then provides numerical measurement of pH levels or acidity of the plaque. The team tested the tool on 30 patients between the ages of 10 to 18.
The team measured pH levels of patients before and after sugar rises and professional dental cleaning. The team also modified the tool for it to create images with a multimode-scanning fiber endoscope. This was then used for producing a heatmap of pH differential of one subject. The clinical version of this device needs some more work to be done. However, the new system could be used for in routine care to get images revealing hotspots of high acidity in teeth.
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