The mouth is one of the most fascinating mechanisms in the whole body. The mouth is most certainly the gateway to the entire body, and as such it is also an impressive gatekeeper. Billions of bacteria live in our mouths along with the hard and soft tissues like teeth and gums. While some of these bacteria are beneficial and begin the process of digestion, there are many that can cause tooth decay, and inflammation that causes periodontal disease. At this Jacksonville, Florida dental office, we not only rely on well known modalities of removing this bacteria from the mouths of our patients, such as daily flossing and brushing. We also employ lesser understood yet effective technologies like ozone therapy to help keep our patients’ mouths as healthy as possible.
What Is Ozone Therapy?
Ozone therapy is a modality for keeping the gums and teeth healthy after a procedure. Ozone is introduced into the mouth, specifically at the site of infection or operation. This introduction causes a “transient oxidative burst” that the bacteria and microorganisms have no defense to. When the ozone comes in contact with the bacteria, the bacteria is eliminated and to boost the healing properties of this therapy, the oxidation actually helps increase blood flow which can hasten healing time due to fresh white blood cells being brought to the site to fight infection. The best part about ozone therapy is that it is non-toxic and has no side effects.
How Does Ozone Therapy Work?
Ozone therapy is very simple and effective due to its use of charged oxygen. Ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms and is a very unstable molecule that decomposes back into oxygen in a relatively short period of time. In nature ozone is created by lightning or ultraviolet light. In a clinical setting a dentist who uses ozone therapy will create the molecule with an ozone generator which uses electrical discharge to simulate lightning. This excites oxygen atoms to bond where it will be left as a gas, or captured in water or olive oil. When an ozone molecule comes in contact with a pathogen, be it a virus, bacteria, protozoa, or fungus it quickly begins the process of oxidation. This rapid oxidation compromises the structure of the pathogen and kills it. The interaction between ozone and the tissues of the mouth has also been proven to increase blood flow and trigger immune responses. As a result patients who undergo ozone therapy heal much faster than those who do not.
How Long Has Ozone Therapy Been In Use?
It may come as a surprise, but ozone therapy has been practiced in the dental field for more than a century. In 1870 ozone was first used after being “discovered” 31 years earlier. Dr. C Lender was able to purify blood in test tubes with the gas. Over the next hundred years ozone therapy was listed as a treatment for 114 different diseases. Today that number has increased to 260 different diseases. It wasn’t until 1930 that a German dentist, Dr. E.A. Fisch, began using ozone therapy in his dental practice. He published many articles about the therapy and since then many dentists have been eliminating disease and improving their patients lives with the use of ozone therapy.
What Can Ozone Therapy Treat?
So many oral disorders stem from the pooling and proliferation of bacteria. When bacteria sits on the teeth for a prolonged period of time it produces what is called a biofilm. This biofilm eventually will harden into plaque and tartar. Bacteria feeds on sugars that enter the mouth and can cause tooth decay and inflammation of the gums. When the gums become inflamed, they become susceptible to disease which can pull them back from the teeth and destroy the underlying bone structure. Ozone therapy is one of the best therapies in existence that can eliminate this biofilm and remove all the bacteria that creates it. Oxidation of this biofilm removes it from the mouth and as a result decreases your the chances of you falling prey to a bacterial infection in your mouth. According to the Journal of National Science, Biology, and Medicine ozone therapy has been applied for many dental treatments including: periodontal disinfection and osseous disinfection, gum recession, pain control, tissue regeneration, cavity prevention, biofilm purging, TMJ pain, and tooth sensitivity to name a few. Here at our Jacksonville, Florida dental office, we use ozone therapy for: periodontal issues, extractions, infection elimination, sensitivity, cavity prevention, and root canal treatments.
If you have any questions about ozone therapy and if you are a candidate for this treatment, give our office a call today. We can discuss this treatment during your appointment to discover if its application is right for you.