The two primary nutrients in life are oxygen and water. Now dentists can use them to their advantage to treat oral infections.

Integrating oxygen/ozone therapy into a dental practice is truly a paradigm shift. You now have the capability for effective, safe, nontoxic therapies that address the multi-factoral infective states within the oral cavity.

Ozone – what is it and what does it do?

What is Ozone? Ozone is a chemical compound consisting of three atoms of oxygen. It is the elemental form of oxygen that occurs naturally as a result of ultraviolet energy or lightning, causing a temporary recombination of oxygen atoms onto groups of three. In the clinical setting, an oxygen/ozone generator stimulates lightning via an electrical discharge field. Ozone protects living organisms by surrounding the earth at altitudes of 50,000 to 100,000 feet. The ozone layer absorbs the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, thus allowing for survival of plant and animal life.

The properties of ozone are the foundations of what make it work so well in dentistry. Ozone is a powerful oxidizer – it effectively kills bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites at a dramatically lower concentration than chlorine, with none of the toxic side effects. One molecule of ozone is equal to between 3,000 to 10,000 molecules of chlorine and it kills pathogenic organisms 3,500 times faster! In a medical/dental ozone generator, the medical grade, O, is converted to O, in special tubes via a corona discharge reaction (similar to lightning). This type of generator is able to control the concentration of ozone critical to delivering the correct dose in micrograms/milliliters (mcg/ml). concentration is determined by exposure and contact time of the medical-grade oxygen to the 5 to 13 millivolts [Bocci] sealed-corona discharge tubes.

Because of Ozone’s physical properties in the dental model, the ratio of ozone to oxygen is extremely low. The typical average concentration of ozone used in treatments is 25 micrograms of ozone per milliliter of oxygen/ozone gas mixture. That translates into 0.25 parts of ozone to 99.75 parts of oxygen. Evidence-based research has shown at this concentration, ozone effectively kills bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites.

A continual battle with oral infections

Dentistry is in a continual battle with infection, soft tissue, and/or hard tissue. These infections come from bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. An infection can be of a single organism or a combination of all the above. In the developmental stages of oxygen/ozone therapy in dentistry, we philosophically took into consideration the “oral-systemic link.” Keep in mind the far-reaching implications associated with acute or long-standing chronic infections typically seen with periodontal disease and some teeth that have had root canals. The systemic effects of oral infections on the other areas of the body have been well documented in both medical and dental literature.

Attempts to eliminate oral infections have been minimally successful due to the interrelated nature of the multiple causative chapters. These factors include microorganisms, diet, saliva, and immune responses. Treatments such as prophylaxis, rinses, fluoride, sealants, restorations, surgical procedures, diet, and lifestyle modification have altered risk factors. The result is the host adapts to the acute infection and the infection then converts to a subclinical chronic infection. These pathogenic organisms – being opportunistic – eventually clinically “reinfect” the afflicted tissue.

Instead of treating the whole body with antibiotic, viral, fungal, or parasitic agents, why not treat the infection with a naturally occurring substance that is truly broad-spectrum with no toxicity or side effects? That substance is oxygen and its energized form, ozone.

The commonality of all the pathogenic organisms is the weak antioxidant/enzyme systems in the cell membranes of these organisms. The ozone will punch a hole in the membrane of the organism, thus resulting in the organism’s death. Now the contents of the pathogen are exposed to the internal environment that allows the immunologic system to start its physiologic cascade.

Oxygen/Ozone therapy in dentistry contains a multiplicity of protocols to deal with dental infection. Three basic forms of application to oral tissue are applied – 1) ozonated water, 2)ozonated olive oil, and 3) oxygen/ozone gas. Ozonated water and olive oil have the capacity to entrap and then release oxygen/ozone, an ideal delivery system. These forms of application are used singly or in combination to treat dental disease.