Comparison of toluidine blue-mediated photodynamic therapy and conventional scaling treatment for periodontitis in rats

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Background and Objective

Periodontitis is a disease caused by bacterial infection accompanied with the inflammation of connected tissues and resorption of alveolar bone. The aim of this study was to investigate the in vivo photosensitization of periodontal bacteria in rats and to compare its efficacy with that of routine scaling and root planing.

Material and Methods

Periodontitis was developed by submerging ligatures at the subgingival region of maxillary molars in 16 rats. Six weeks later, the infection sites were treated either with 1 mg/mL of toluidine blue plus 12 J/cm2 red laser irradiation, or by routine scaling and root planing. The therapeutic efficacy was assessed by evaluating the reduction of total bacterial flora and histological changes of periodontal tissues.


Significant reduction of total bacterial flora was achieved by both photodynamic therapy and conventional therapy. The signs of inflammation that accompanied periodontitis, such as redness, increased plaque index and gingival index values, bleeding on probing and inflammatory cell infiltration, were greatly reduced without any obvious detectable injury to host tissues. Both photodynamic therapy and conventional therapy showed similar therapeutic results.


Toluidine blue-mediated photodynamic therapy could effectively treat periodontitis in vivo and has high potential in clinical application.

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