Occlusal discoloration due to staining frequently occurs on the pits and fissures of teeth. Noncariogenic discoloration (non-CD) refers to the attachment of staining chromogens to sound surfaces, whereas cariogenic discoloration (CD) represents the discoloration of porous structures due to bacterial metabolites and mineral loss from the enamel surface. This study evaluated whether it is possible to distinguish between non-CD and CD on stained occlusal surfaces with fluorescence assessed by the quantitative light-induced fluorescence (QLF) technology. Sixty-two extracted human permanent teeth with suspected discolorations on the pit and fissure were examined. The maximum values of fluorescence loss (ΔFmax) and red fluorescence gain (ΔRmax) were calculated using QLF images. Using histology as the gold standard, it was found that 12 teeth were sound (non-CD), while 50 teeth had enamel and dentine caries (CD). The validity tests at the enamel histological caries level, ΔRmax (ρ = 0.80) were strongly correlated with the histology (P < 0.001). At the optimum threshold (105.0) of ΔRmax, it showed high levels of sensitivity and specificity (0.96 and 0.83, respectively). Therefore, QLF can be used to distinguish non-CD from CD on occlusal surfaces using red fluorescence values with high validity.
Various technologies used to objectively determine enamel thickness or dentin exposure have been suggested. However, most methods have clinical limitations. This study was conducted to confirm the potential of quantitative light-induced fluorescence (QLF) using autofluorescence intensity of occlusal surfaces of worn teeth according to enamel grinding depth in vitro. Sixteen permanent premolars were used. Each tooth was gradationally ground down at the occlusal surface in the apical direction. QLF-digital and swept-source optical coherence tomography images were acquired at each grinding depth (in steps of 100 μm). All QLF images were converted to 8-bit grayscale images to calculate the fluorescence intensity. The maximum brightness (MB) values of the same sound regions in grayscale images before (MBbaseline) and phased values after (MBworn) the grinding process were calculated. Finally, 13 samples were evaluated. MBworn increased over the grinding depth range with a strong correlation (r=0.994, P<0.001). In conclusion, the fluorescence intensity of the teeth and grinding depth was strongly correlated in the QLF images. Therefore, QLF technology may be a useful noninvasive tool used to monitor the progression of tooth wear and to conveniently estimate enamel thickness.
The aim of this study was to determine whether the degree of tongue and interdental plaque can be used to assess oral malodor by quantifying their fluorescence as detected using quantitative light-induced fluorescence (QLF) technology. Ninety-nine subjects who complained of oral malodor were included. The level of oral malodor was quantified using the organoleptic score (OLS) and the concentration of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). The fluorescence properties of tongue and interdental plaque were quantified as scores calculated by multiplying the intensity and area of fluorescence in QLF-digital images, and the combined plaque fluorescence (CPF) score was obtained by summing the scores for the two regions. The associations of the scores with malodor levels and the diagnostic accuracy of the CPF score were analyzed. The two plaque fluorescence scores and their combined score differed significantly with the level of oral malodor (p<0.001). The CPF score was moderately correlated with OLS (r=0.64) and VSC levels (r=0.54), and its area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.77 for identifying subjects with definite oral malodor (OLS≥2). In conclusion, plaque fluorescence from tongue and interdental sites as detected using QLF technology can be used to assess the level of oral malodor.