Scientists develop new tool to improve oral hygiene

Jan 13, 2009
Inspektor TC
Inspektor TC

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists at the University of Liverpool have developed a new dental product to identify plaque build-up in the mouth before it is visible to the human eye.

The toothbrush-sized product has a blue light at its tip, which, when shone around the mouth and viewed through yellow glasses with a red filter, allows plaque to be seen easily as a red glow. The device, produced in collaboration with dental and healthcare developers, Inspektor Research Systems BV, has been designed for everyday use in the home.

Dentists currently use disclosing agents in tablet form to uncover tooth decay and plaque but these often stain the mouth and taste unpleasant. The new product, known as Inspektor TC, will be particularly useful for those who are vulnerable to dental diseases such as children and the elderly.

Children in the UK have had an average of 2.5 teeth filled or removed by the age of 15 because of tooth decay. In young people alone £45 million is currently being spent every year on the problem.

Professor Sue Higham, from the University's School of Dental Sciences, said: "It is extremely difficult to get rid of all plaque in the mouth. Left undisturbed it becomes what we call 'mature' plaque and gets thicker. This is what leads to gingivitis, or bleeding gums, and decay.

"Early stage plaque is invisible, and so this device will show people the parts of the mouth that they are neglecting when they brush their teeth, enabling them to remove plaque before it becomes a problem.

"Inspektor TC is designed so that people can easily incorporate it into their daily dental hygiene routine at home. We now hope to work with industry partners to develop this prototype so that people can use it in the home to identify plaque before any serious dental work is needed."

The team has now received a Medical Futures Innovation Award for the product - a commendation which acknowledges significant innovation in science.

Provided by University of Liverpool

Explore further: AbbVie to pay Shire $1.64B fee over nixed merger

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Arguments made in ex-dictator's suit against game

3 hours ago

(AP)—A judge has heard arguments from lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani calling for the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against video game giant Activision by former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.

All in a flap: Seychelles fears foreign bird invader

3 hours ago

It was just a feather: but in the tropical paradise of the Seychelles, the discovery of parakeet plumage has put environmentalists in a flutter, with a foreign invading bird threatening the national parrot.

Twitter tweets start to sing

3 hours ago

Twitter began letting people instantly listen to music and other audio by clicking on tweets from the popular messaging service.

Recommended for you

New MCAT shifts focus, will include humanities

5 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) has been revised, and the latest changes, including more humanities such as social sciences, are due to be implemented next April, according to a report ...

Using feminist theory to understand male rape

16 hours ago

Decades of feminist research have framed rape and sexual assault as a 'women's issue', leaving little room for the experiences of male victims. But a new study published in the Journal of Gender Studies suggests that feminist ...

Simulation-based training improves endoscopy execution

Oct 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—Simulation-based training (SBT) improves clinicians' performance of gastrointestinal endoscopy in both test settings and clinical practice, according to research published in the October issue ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

googleplex
not rated yet Jan 13, 2009
Sounds great. Is it normal blue light or cell mutating UV?
el_gramador
not rated yet Jan 14, 2009
It can't be cell mutating UV because then there would be anything to cause infection around the mouth. Remember, Blue is nice, but UV kills twice.