The dental biofilm, or dental plaque, is the thin layer of disease-causing bacteria on the teeth. If the plaque left untreated for a long period of time, the dental biofilms harden and may develop gingivitis and periodontitis, ultimately causing tooth decay. We utilized our PCI OCT imaging system to image dental biofilm and gum tissues, so-called gingiva, in vivo and in real-time. For the effective imaging of oral tissues, we have also developed an interchangeable tip to be used with our OCT imaging system.
Representative OCT images of human facial incisors and canines. The bottom left images represent the standard surface view of teeth, where the red line indicates OCT scanning beams. From OCT cross-sectional images, different structures of teeth (biofilm, gingiva, enamel and dentin) can be identified.
The gingiva, or simply gums, are the mucosal tissues inside the mouth to protect the teeth. Gum health is highly related to the dental health as well as general health of the body. The inflammation of the gingiva can be caused by the accumulation of dental biofilm, or bacterial plaque, and may lead to periodonal disease. With our portable PCI OCT system, healthy human gingiva was imaged in vivo and in real-time (bottom).