A Better Choice in Treating Oral Conditions: Ozone Therapy in Dentistry
Jul 30, 2020 04:18PM
By Amparo David
Ozone is a chemical tool that has been used in medicine and dentistry for many years now. Ozone is found naturally in Earth’s stratosphere and is comprised of three oxygen atoms. Initially discovered in the early 1800s, ozone has been experimented with given its bacteriostatic properties. Ozone is often used in cleaning supplies to disinfect settings such as buildings or hospitals, but rarely are people aware of its use by healthcare professionals for a patient’s benefit.
Ozone is available in three different forms. This includes gas, liquid and oil. Ozone can be infused into drinking water with favorable outcomes. Through ingestion of ozone water, the ozone effectively kills harmful bacteria and viruses that could reside in the body. For this reason, ozone makes for a perfect pre-rinse for patients at the dental office. Restorative dental procedures involving the drill, or hygiene procedures involving a cavitron, produce dental aerosol. Dental aerosol contains particles of water and a patient’s saliva contents in a fine mist produced through the activation of these tools. By pre-rinsing with ozonated water, harmful viruses and bacteria within the mouth will be eliminated and the dental aerosol produced is less harmful to be exposed to.
Ozone in its gaseous form is often used in the dental setting. This type of ozone is formed with the use of oxygen within tanks that flow through an ozone generator. Gaseous ozone is an incredible component in dental procedures, especially hygiene procedures including scaling and root planning. These deep-cleaning procedures are indicated when a patient’s gum tissue is inflamed due to a high accumulation of plaque biofilm containing harmful species of bacteria. The scaling procedure is meant to remove the harmful bacteria to allow gum tissue to heal and become healthy again.
In some cases, a deep scaling alone will not produce a strong outcome due to a patient’s underlying health conditions. This could include health conditions like diabetes. Health conditions that compromise the body’s ability to fight infection make gum disease a higher risk. By utilizing ozone during the deep-cleaning process, the procedure becomes more effectual in removing more harmful bacteria and inhibiting plaque formation that will eat away at the gums and bone in the mouth.
Another condition that affects oral health is oral lichen planus. This is an inflammatory condition that affects the soft tissue in the mouth and can result in painful open sores. Studies have shown that by incorporating gaseous or liquid ozone to the sores, the healing process to close the wounds is significantly faster. Patients also report that pain is managed well during and after the administration of ozone on open lesions. Those that suffer from oral lichen planus would often be prescribed steroidal medication, which can be harsh on the liver when processing it. Now that ozone therapy has been proven to treat this condition without harmful side effects, it could replace steroidal treatment altogether for this condition and others that are similar.
As mentioned earlier, ozone can be a better choice in treating oral conditions as opposed to other options that are not biocompatible for the body. One major therapy in dentistry is fluoride, and ozone has been shown to be effective in replacing this therapy as well. Fluoride has always been recommended for its anti-cavity qualities, but studies have revealed fluoride can be harmful to a patient’s biology. Although it does help manage cavity prevention, additional fluoride applications at the dentist can result in an excess amount that lingers in the body. Because of this build-up of fluoride in the body, they will start to attach themselves to hormone receptors and prevent the natural movement of hormones throughout the body. This results in poor functioning of the organs involved, especially the thyroid gland.
The good news is we have a biocompatible mechanism to prevent cavities that no longer involves fluoride. Furthermore, ozone has the ability to kill the harmful bacteria in the mouth, including the species involved with the breakdown of tooth enamel that leads to cavities. By simply rinsing with ozone water, receiving gaseous ozone therapy or using ozonated oil in the mouth periodically, the risk of cavities is greatly reduced.
In conclusion, ozone has slowly been incorporated in dental settings and is taking the place of other therapies due to its biocompatible properties. Because ozone therapy can by utilized in almost all aspects of dentistry, it makes for a reliable form of treatment. When administered correctly, ozone is a safer mechanism in removing infection-causing bacteria. This is ideal when treating open lesions from both health conditions and surgical procedures or simply to prevent cavities. As time progresses, ozone will hopefully be considered a common accessory to needed dental treatments.
Dr. Amparo M. David, DMD, has her own practice, Dentistry by Dr. David, located at 563 Main St., Bolton, where she practices general and cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics. She also has completed a residency in dental sleep medicine and sleep apnea and is able to assist some of her patients with this common problem. For more information, call 978-779-2888 or visit BoltonDental.com.