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Better than antibiotics for periodontal bacteria.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) may be an effective way to treat the bacteria associated with periodontal diseases, and very well could provide a better option than antibiotics or other mechanical methods, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, Chicago. Researchers found that using PDT is an effective method to minimize destruction of periodontal tissue which can accompany treatment for periodontal diseases. PDT produces minimal damage to periodontal tissues, in comparison to other better-known techniques, including scaling, root planing, and antibiotic therapy.

"We found that PDT is significantly less invasive than other treatments," says study author Valdir Gouveia. "It can provide improved dentin hypersensitivity, reduced inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth, and allows tissue to repair faster."

PDT may be an alternative to antibiotic treatment; it is becoming more important as antibiotic resistance increases. PDT involves two stages. First, a light-sensitive drug is applied to the area. Second, a light or laser is shown on that area. When the light is combined with the drug, phototoxic reactions induce the destruction of bacterial cells. PDT first was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999 to treat precancerous skin lesions of the face or scalp.

"This is an exciting finding," explains Preston D. Miller Jr., president of AAP. "PDT may be an effective therapy for the treatment of periodontal diseases. While patients have many options for treating their periodontal diseases, PDT could prove to be a preferable alternative to antibiotic therapy. Unfortunately, long-term antibiotic therapy not only decreases the drug's effectiveness, but also may lead to the development of drug resistant organisms."
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Title Annotation:Photodynamic Therapy
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2008
Previous Article:"Blindness" gene finally identified.
Next Article:Antibiotics guidelines revised for dental work.

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