Plaque autofluorescence as potential diagnostic targets for oral malodor

Eun Song Lee, Hyun Kyung Yim, Hyung Suk Lee, Jong Hoon Choi, Ho Keun Kwon, Baek Il Kima

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7 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number085005
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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