Effect of Photodynamic Antimicrobial Chemotherapy on Mono- and Multi-Species Cariogenic Biofilms: A Literature Review

Maria Tayara Marques De Freitas, Talyta Teixeira Soares, Maria Gerusa Brito Aragão, Ramille Araújo Lima, Simone Duarte, Iriana Carla Junqueira Zanin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this literature review is to study the effect of photodynamic antimicrobial chemotherapy (PACT) on mono- and multi-species cariogenic biofilms. Methods: To this purpose, the database, PubMed, was searched using the descriptors, photodynamic therapy, antimicrobial photodynamic chemotherapy, and photoinactivation, associated with the mandatory presence of the word biofilm. A total of 98 references published from 2003 to 2016 were selected. Moreover, literature reviews (15), investigations that did not have biofilms related to dental caries (65), and those that did not have Streptococcus mutans count as an outcome (7) were excluded, yielding a final amount of 11 publications. Results: The results revealed that Toluidine Blue O was the most used photosensitizer. Among the sources of light, light-emitting diode was the choice, and the biofilm models varied between in vitro and in situ. Multi-species biofilms were more resistant to the antimicrobial effects of PACT due to the thickness and complexity they have, which impede the penetration of the photosensitizer. This fact may also be associated with the type of photosensitizer used as well as with the light exposure time since the antimicrobial effect seems to be dose dependent. Despite this, in all the included publications, the therapy was effective in reducing S. mutans count. Conclusions: This review demonstrated that under different conditions, PACT is effective in reducing S. mutans count in monospecies biofilms. Multi-species biofilms were more resistant to the antimicrobial action of the therapy, possibly due to their thickness and complexity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
JournalPhotomedicine and Laser Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • antimicrobial photodynamic chemotherapy
  • caries
  • photodynamic therapy
  • photoinactivation
  • Streptococcus mutans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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