Potential for direct application of blue light for photo-disinfection of dentine

Sherif a. Mohamad, Michael r. Milward, Sarah a. Kuehne, Mohammed a. Hadis, William m. Palin, Paul r. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The direct application of light for photo-disinfection potentially provides a safe and novel modality to inhibit or eliminate cariogenic bacteria residing upon and within dentine. This study aimed to both; characterize the pattern of transmission of 405 nm light through molar dentine at different tooth locations, as well as, determine the irradiation parameters that are antibacterial for Streptococcus mutans under various growth conditions, including lawns, planktonic cultures, and biofilms. To determine the amount of light (405 nm) transmitted at different anatomical tooth locations; irradiance values were recorded after blue light (470–4054 mW/cm2) had traversed through occlusal, oblique, and buccal dentine sections; and three thicknesses - 1, 2 and 3 mm were investigated. To determine tubular density; scanning electron micrographs from 2 mm outer (dentine-enamel junction) and inner (pulp) dentine sections were analysed. For photo-disinfection studies; S. mutans was irradiated using the same 405 nm wavelength light at a range of doses (110–1254 J/cm2) in both biofilm and planktonic cultures. The inhibitory effect of the irradiation on bacterial lawns was compared by measuring zones of inhibition; and for planktonic cultures both spectrophotometric and colony forming unit (CFU) assays were performed. A live/dead staining assay was utilised to determine the effect of irradiation on bacterial viability in mature biofilms. Data indicated that increasing dentine thickness decreased light transmission significantly irrespective of its orientation. Occlusal and oblique samples exhibited higher transmission compared with buccal dentine. Oblique dentine 405 nm light transmission was comparable with that of occlusal dentine independent of section thickness. An increased tubule density directly positively correlated with light transmission. Irradiation at 405 nm inhibited S. mutans growth in both biofilm and planktonic cultures and a dose response relationship was observed. Irradiation at doses of 340 and 831 J/cm2 led to significant reductions in bacterial growth and viability; as determined by CFU counting and live/dead staining. Data suggests that phototherapy approaches utilising a 405 nm wavelength have therapeutic potential to limit cariogenic bacterial infections both at the surface and within dentine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112123
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B-Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


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