Littleton, CO dentist Dr. Guy Grabiak and team celebrate case study award for long-term healthy results with their patient.
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One of a Biological Dentist’s Most Versatile Tools: Ozone

Feb 28, 2024 | Dental Ozone, Gum Disease / Periodontal Health

Ozone is one of the most versatile tools that any biological dentist has for battling bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Able to be used on its own as a gas or infused in water or oil, ozone can be used to treat a wide variety of issues, including periodontal (gum) disease, dental caries (tooth decay), tooth sensitivity, oral infections, osteonecrotic lesions, and TMJ disorders.

We also use it more generally in practically every procedure we do, since all of our treatment rooms are fitted to deliver ozonated water. Whenever we rinse your mouth, you get an antimicrobial benefit. (So do our water lines. Ozone helps keep them pristine, reducing the risk of cross-contamination.) Each room is also equipped with ozone gas.

Ozone is safe, with very few side effects. It’s powerful. It’s effective. It’s versatile. What’s not to love?

So Just What Is Ozone & What Makes It So Powerful?

O2 compared to O3 diagramThe medical grade ozone we use is a special form of oxygen, slightly different from the oxygen you breathe. Each molecule of “regular” oxygen is made of two oxygen atoms. We call that O2. Each molecule of ozone has an extra oxygen atom, making it O3.

Unlike O2, O3 is very unstable. In that instability lies its power.

To become stable again, an ozone molecule has to lose that third atom. Seeking stability of its own, the extra atom it attaches to harmful bacteria and other pathogens, interfering with their function. The pathogens – along with their waste products and other toxins – are then excreted through the normal channels of elimination.

But ozone can do much more than fight infection. Research has shown that it can reduce inflammation, stimulate oxygen uptake, improve circulation, increase antioxidant protection, and stimulate the mitochondria to produce more energy. It is a circulatory stimulant, a wound-cleanser, an accelerant for wound healing, a hemostatic agent, and an immune activating agent.

The Evidence for Ozone in Treating Gum Disease

“In recent years, ozone therapy has been the subject of much research,” note the authors of one recent scientific review, which has generated a significant “body of evidence demonstrating the safety and positive outcomes of ozone therapy.” Much of that recent research has involved using ozone to treat periodontitis, the advanced form of gum disease in which tissue damage occurs and raises your risk of tooth loss.

One of these studies involved 32 systemically healthy patients who each had their teeth cleaned thoroughly above (but not below) the gum line. A week later, researchers took record of a few common markers of gum disease. They also took bacterial samples from their two deepest periodontal pockets (space between the tooth and gum; the deeper the pocket, the more severe the infection).

ozone moleculeQuadrants of each patient’s mouth were then randomly treated with either ozone gas or plain air. Periodontal health was reassessed at the third treatment and again three weeks later. Areas that had been treated with ozone showed significant improvement. Non-pathogenic bacteria thrived in this changed oral environment.

Another study compared outcomes for 90 periodontitis patients who were randomly assigned to receive either standard periodontal therapy – a procedure called scaling and root planing (SRP), sometimes referred to as a “deep cleaning” – or SRP+ozone.

Exams were done at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. After just 3 months, those who received SRP+ozone had shallower periodontal pockets and less bleeding when their gums were probed. The attachment of the teeth to the supporting tissues strengthened.

Most recently, a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health demonstrated ozone’s efficacy against P. gingivalis, one of the main pathogens involved in gum disease and one that has developed some resistance to antibiotics. Thirty adults with chronic periodontitis took part.

Fluid samples from each were tested for the presence of P. gingivalis. Twelve tested positive. Each underwent SRP+ozone and then had their oral bacteria tested again. Half now tested negative after just the one procedure. The others showed a reduced bacterial load. They underwent a second ozone treatment.

By the end of the study, only 1 patient still tested positive for P. gingivalis, but again, at even more reduced levels.

“Ozone therapy,” the researchers wrote,

has excellent medicinal value in the different periodontal treatments. Periodontal diseases contain more than 500 distinct microbial species. The growing microbial resistance has led to the use of higher concentrations of antibiotics which, in turn, leads to side effects including drastic alterations to the host beneficial microflora. Thus, a therapeutic modality capable of reducing the bacterial load without any significant side effect is the need of the hour. Ozone therapy is an effective antimicrobial modality which is painless, thus increases the patient’s compliance to therapeutic interventions.

With results like those, is it any wonder why ozone is such a major player in a biological practice like ours?

The foundation of providing safe and personalized holistic care begins by getting to know you and your goals for your oral health and overall health, both short term and long term. Dr. Grabiak will then learn about your family’s dental and medical history, along with your dental and medical history. Afterwards, we begin your exam by taking a sample of your saliva (Sillha), checking for seven different biomarkers. That same day, we will send you home with a report showing how you scored in those different biomarker categories.

The head and neck examination is often overlooked by busy clinicians but it is as crucial as an element of the oral cancer examination. Dr. Grabiak begins his exam outside of the mouth by starting with a soft tissue check of the neck and the jaw. A thorough head and neck examination is essential for detecting early skin cancers, any overdeveloped jaw muscles that may be contributing towards bruxism, and enlarged lymph nodes that may indicate an active virus or infection.

After the extraoral exam, Dr. Grabiak begins his extensive intraoral exam. During Dr. Grabiak’s exam he is evaluating the teeth, uvula, mucosal tissues, tongue, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, and the oropharynx. Part of this exam includes taking high-definition photos of the mouth, all at different angles so you can see exactly what he is seeing. Our hygienist will then come in and complete a comprehensive periodontal assessment. In some cases, Dr. Grabiak and your hygienist may recommend additional testing to get to the root cause of the evidence of symptoms they are seeing in your mouth. This entire process takes roughly an hour. In some cases, depending on what Dr. Grabiak and your hygienist had found during their exam we will invite you back for a follow-up appointment called review of findings.

In preparation for the review of findings, Dr. Grabiak and your hygienist will take the time to evaluate all of the data that was collected from your examination and testing to determine your specific needs. At your review of findings appointment Dr. Grabiak will sit down with you one on one to review the data that was collected from your appointment, along with any recommendations. This allows you the time to ask Dr. Grabiak any questions that you may have about your treatment recommendations and expectations from treatment.

Jeromy Mulkey

Jeromy Mulkey

Operations Manager

Jeromy received his Bachelors of Science in Finance from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He moved to Colorado in 2015 from Hannibal, New York (a small town outside of Syracuse) and that is when his career in the dental field began. Jeromy started in corporate dental as a patient coordinator and quickly progressed to office manager and then running multiple specialty practices over the next 5 years. Holistic dentistry was an exciting new challenge and Jeromy couldn't be happier with his family at Denver Dentistry. Holistic dentistry was a breath of fresh air and gave a new excitement and passion for learning of all the new sciences and technologies the Denver Dentistry team has integrated into their practice. Jeromy currently lives in Sheridan and enjoys living close to the mountains. In his free time he enjoys spending time with family, snowboarding, playing soccer and basketball, camping, and hiking. Jeromy is passionate about delivering excellent customer service and assisting the team in bringing more smiles to satisfied patients.
Chelsea White

Jazmin Contreras

Dental Hygiene Assistant

In 2020 Jazmin graduated from Colorado Mesa University at the top of her class with a degree in Kinesiology. From a young age Jazmin knew she had a passion and interest in the medical field which led her to gain various experiences in the medical field. However, when she first came to Denver Dentistry, she fell in love with dentistry and knew this was her passion. Dr. Grabiak and his team offered a unique holistic approach to the field; something Jazmin has always been highly interested in. She quickly realized this is where she was meant to be and Denver Dentistry instantly felt like home. In her free time she and her fiance enjoy traveling and participating in outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and kayaking.
Chelsea White

Chelsea White

Lead EDDA

Chelsea is a born and raised Florida girl and has now been a Colorado resident for 5 years. She has loved dentistry for a long time, and couldn’t see herself in any other profession. Knowing her career path, she went to school at Central Florida Institute to become a dental assistant with an extended program. Graduated in 2012 as a Dental Assistant and as an EDDA, she looks forward to esthetics and happiness with patients. As someone who has been in the field for almost 10 years, she strives to work as a team to meet all expectations with the patient. In her free time she loves to hike, and explore the beautiful places Colorado has to offer.

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