As many of you know, ozone has the incredible quality of killing virus, bacteria and fungus on contact.
The applications for this in dentistry are numerous, as the mouth is normally full of bacteria, which can create havoc with the teeth and gums.
Almost any dental problem you can think of has as its base bacteria in the mouth. Imagine if all that bacteria can be killed in just a few seconds!
We use it in periodonal (gum) therapy, to kill bacteria in root canal teeth, to kill bacteria before doing a crown or filling, to kill all bacteria and virus in an extraction socket before finishing up.
Ozone is made of 3 atoms of oxygen (O3). It naturally kills bacteria, fungus and virus. The head and mouth are breeding grounds for all of these. Thus O3 is a wonderful addition to our the ways we can help our patients. Here are some uses of O3 in dentistry:
Any bacterial infection can be effectively treated with O3. Rinsing and gargling with ozonated water is effective for sore throats, ulcerations, abscesses and periodontal problems.
In the dental office irrigating pockets with O3 water and O3 gas is highly beneficial. Used in this manner, O3 not only helps arrest the progression of the disease but also helps prevent tooth decay. For some patients a custom tray that fits snugly over the teeth and gums can be made. O3 gas is then passed into the tray for a period of time every few months to help maintain periodontal health and prevent decay.
O3 also serves as an excellent wash for teeth just prior to restoring them. It is similarly beneficial when a tooth nerve has been exposed. In the case of a nerve exposure, use of O3 water followed by O3 gas will often prevent the nerve from dying, thus preventing a root canal or extraction.
If a root canal is being performed, the use of O3 will maximize one’s best chances for success. By success, I mean that the tooth will not cause any systemic problems. Remember teeth are made up of millions of tubules. The bacteria in these tubules give off potent toxins that can travel throughout a person’s body and cause many health problems. (See the book, Whole-Body Dentistry, by Dr. Breiner for more on this topic).
Rinsing the canals with O3 water during treatment, followed by O3 gas, permeates the tubules and disinfects the tooth. Follow this with injections of O3 gas around the root of the tooth and the odds will increase that the tooth will be “tolerable”.
I would recommend periodic energetic testing (muscle testing or kinesiology) to see if indeed the root canal is being well tolerated. If it is not, then O3 gas can be injected around the tooth, and then reassessed. This approach would also be appropriate for a tooth that had previously had a root canal and which did not test well.
Irrigation of a surgical site with O3 water will speed healing and help remineralize the bone. Thus, O3 water would be helpful for extractions, cavitational surgery, and implant surgery.
Some practitioners find injection of O3 gas into the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) to be very therapeutic. Research is showing that a number of TMJ problems are associated with bacteria, viruses and fungi. These cause an inflammatory reaction resulting in TMJ pain. O3 gas not only kills the organisms, but reduces the inflammation and stimulates new cartilage growth.
Cavitations (holes in bone) frequently occur in the jawbones at the sites of previous extractions, especially in the area of the wisdom teeth. Cavitations may have systemic effects. Often surgery is done to clean out the area. One of the problems with the cavitational lesion is that it spreads into surrounding bone via small channels, and the infection can then move far from the original site. Surgically, it is virtually impossible to clean out the entire infection. One must get the major lesion and through use of homeopathics, various nutrients, light therapy, etc. encourage the body to take care of the rest. All of these approaches together may or may not be enough.
Ozone therapy greatly increases the odds of healing cavitations – without surgery. Because O3 kills the bugs, enhances the immune system, promotes remineralization of bone, etc. O3 gas injected directly into the cavitational site has remarkable effects. What is really incredible is that the gas will follow the infection. For example patients having an injection into the lower right wisdom tooth area, may report feeling a funny sensation in the jaw, sometime even as far away as the left wisdom tooth area.
When treating cavitations with O3, there is a protocol; it is important that the lymph system be functioning optimally. Thus there usually are certain things done in conjunction with injection into the cavitation to help ensure success.
Many patients have a chronic problem in the sinuses. Often a postnasal drip (PND) will offer a clue; however, sometimes there is no PND and the sinuses may appear OK on x-rays. Nevertheless, with energetic testing the sinuses will test positive for bacterial and often fungal problems.
Breathing O3 as it filters through olive oil along with treatment of the lymph system can often promote resolution of the sinus problem. Remember, it is very irritating to the lungs to breathe ozone – the ozone must first go through olive oil before breathing.
Ozonated olive oil can be made by passing O3 into the oil over a 24 hour period. The O3 oil has many uses; one of which is as a salve for the gums. While, not very tasty, it does deliver the O3.
Any type of cold sore (ulcer or hepatic lesion) can be helped by a combination of O3, and O3 water, and/or O3 olive oil. For “cold sores,” ozonated olive oil will speed recovery. For apthous ulcers (cold sores) or any kind of sore in the mouth, rinsing with ozonated water will accelerate healing. The ozone will also help with the pain.
As you can see, ozone, when used properly and in proper amounts can have a wide range of beneficial applications. Unfortunately, ozone is not approved for use in the USA, although it is widely used in Europe and South America.
Use of Ozone in Dentistry
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) has been created to allow some practitioners in the US to use ozone as part of a study to demonstrate ozone safety and effectiveness. We have participated in the training, and are authorized to use it in this study.