Curcumin-mediated Photodynamic Therapy for the treatment of oral infections—A review
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Background: Recent evidences show the promising applications of Curcumin (CUR) against different diseases, including some of the main oral pathologies. The objective of this review paper was to catalog articles that investigated the photodynamic effect of CUR for oral diseases in the last 15 years. Methods: The establishment of defined criteria for data collection was proposed and a total of 173 articles were identified, but only 26 were eligible for full text reading. Their main findings were critically reviewed to provide a state-of-the-art overview of the use of CUR in Dentistry. Results: Antimicrobial potential of CUR was the subject of the majority of the articles. CUR showed great potential for photodynamic action against oral bacteria, fungi, and strains resistant to conventional drugs. Some authors indicated the efficacy of CUR-mediated Photodynamic Therapy to reduce tumor cells while others observed low cytotoxicity in mammalian cells and healthy oral mucosa. However, CUR solubility and stability is still a problem for the photodynamic technique, and to overcome these drawbacks, biocompatible vehicles need to be better explored. Conclusions: Investigations have used different CUR concentrations and formulations, as well as different light parameters. This fact, together with the lack of in vivo studies, clearly shows that clinical protocols have not been established yet. Investigations are necessary in order to establish the best concentrations and safe vehicles to be used for this technique.