Lasers treat gum disease

London: A laser cure for gum disease is being tested in the UK. In the treatment, a light sensitive drug is injected into the infected area. The laser beam is aimed at the unhealthy cells and activates the drug and it destroys the organisms eating away at gums and teeth.

The treatment is called photodynamic therapy, a technique is already widely used to treat age-related blindness as well some forms of cancer.

Now new research suggests it could also help thousands of people who suffer from periodontitis, a condition in which bacterial infection and a build-up of plaque eventually make the teeth fall out.

Until now, dentists have treated periodontitis through antibiotics, cleaning and scaling and root planning. Laboratory tests have proved the laser technique can wipe out harmful organisms in a test tube and a team at the Eastman Dental Institute, at University College London hopes to repeat the effects in patients.