There has been quite a bit of discussion recently about the oral-systemic connection. Discussion may be an understatement. Debate may be a more accurate description. Regardless of your position on this topic, almost no one can debate the importance of dental hygiene and keeping periodontal disease at bay. After all, who doesn’t want to keep their teeth?
Recently I became acquainted with Stamatis Astra, founder & CEO of a new company dedicated to developing oral healthcare products that are science-based and clinically proven. PhotOral is currently in the approval stage for a new, patented device to eradicate select periodontal pathogens using only blue light. I had a chance to talk with Stamatis about his vision for this new technology and dentistry.
The technology and its application seem pretty cool. PhotOral is the brainchild of Forsyth Institute scientists Dr. Max Goodson and Dr. Nikolaos Soukos. They found that a number of dental plaque bacteria involved in the development of periodontal diseases (gingivitis, periodontitis) are photo-sensitive. These specific bacteria can be suppressed using a wavelength of visible light in the blue region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The idea is that as an adjunct to regular brushing, flossing, and dental hygiene appointments, patients can use a device shaped like a mouthguard which emits the blue light to reduce the amount of pathogenic bacteria known to contribute to periodontal disease in their mouths. Since it is designed to target bacteria selectively, the goal is to establish homeostasis in the oral environment, a healthy balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria. According to the company founder, ease of use for the patient is an important focus of product development; simply use the light-emitting device for one minute twice a day with no need to apply any chemicals or other substances.
I asked Stamatis what is the one thing he would like dental professionals to know about PhotOral. “We are committed to research and science. PhotOral is a science-based company that brings science-based, solidly researched products to dentistry.” The company and the Forsyth Institute are working together to make the technology commercially available within the next 9 – 12 months. In our conversation, Stamatis indicated they are excited about this potential new product category for oral healthcare and have a product road map including more oral health applications spanning the next 5 – 7 years.
I look forward to watching this new company on their journey towards launching their first product. To learn more, contact them directly at PhotOral.com. I’ll be sure to check back in with Stamatis and keep you updated of their progress.
Author’s Note: I have no financial or commercial interest in the company and product mentioned in this article. I simply like to learn and write about cool people and cool technologies in dentistry.