Keeping your mouth healthy, as we’ve said, is largely a matter of controlling the billions of bacteria that live there. A good many of them are actually helpful, but others aren’t so nice: S. mutans. P. gingivalis, F. nucleatum, Actinomyces…and the list goes on.
A healthy mouth means more of the good, less of the bad.
Brushing, flossing, and the like is just one part of keeping your oral flora in balance – and a key part. Another is what you eat. Pre- and probiotic supplements can be helpful, too, as can antimicrobial herbal tinctures.
But what about when harmful bacteria get out of control? While there are times when pharmaceutical antibiotics make good sense, they can have serious consequences for your overall health. They also can only kill bacteria, not viruses or fungi; nor can they help heal the tissue damage done by the pathogens.
Fortunately, holistic dentistry has an excellent tool for dealing with oral pathogens: ozone.
Now, if you’re not familiar with therapeutic ozone, you might be thinking of something like the ozone layer of our atmosphere, which protects us from UV radiation. Or maybe you’re thinking of it as a pollutant, the smoggy result of interactions between the sun and carbon monoxide, VOCs, and other emissions.
Medical grade ozone is different. Concentrated and pure, it’s a powerful disinfectant. This power comes courtesy of ozone’s molecular structure: three oxygen atoms bonded together.
Now, the oxygen you breathe comes in molecules of two atoms – O2. It’s extremely stable. Ozone – O3 – is not. It really wants to lose that third atom and become “regular” oxygen. But that third atom also gives it a negative charge, and negative particles naturally seek out those with a positive charge – particles such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Ozone destroys them.
A new research review reinforces the many roles ozone can play in dentistry, from treating gum disease and tooth decay to supporting the healing of surgical sites. As the authors put it,
Its unique properties include immunostimulant, analgesic, antihypnotic, detoxicating, antimicrobial, bioenergetic and biosynthetic actions. Its atraumatic, painless, non invasive nature and relative absence of discomfort increase patient’s acceptability and compliance thus making it an ideal treatment choice specially for pediatric patients.
Here, you can see all the many ways we use it in our office.
There’s even evidence that it can help in the treatment of pain in the chewing muscles, often caused by TMJ dysfunction. According to a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, while both ozone and placebo group patients experienced improvements, the
Bio-oxidative ozone application appeared to be superior to sham bio-oxidative ozone application and differences were significant.
Patients in this group reported less intense pain and showed a higher pain threshold than those in the placebo group.
Other research suggests that ozone may even be effective in treating TMJ disorders themselves. In fact, ozone is well known for stimulating the healing response by delivering much needed oxygen to damaged cells, allowing them to repair. This is why it’s so ideal for surgical applications, including the treatment of cavities.
Truly, ozone is becoming indispensable to holistic dentistry, providing a powerful yet safe, non-invasive and inexpensive way to control those “bad bugs” and support your body’s natural healing response.
Bacteria image by Bob Blaylock, via Wikimedia Commons
Originally posted 2017-11-09 07:01:48.