Littleton, CO dentist Dr. Guy Grabiak and team celebrate case study award for long-term healthy results with their patient.

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?

lizmar thurber

Noelle Jones

Office Manager

With a robust career spanning over 20 years in the dental sector, Noelle Jones has developed a profound expertise that blends technical proficiency with visionary leadership. Starting her journey as a dental assistant, Noelle has continually expanded her skill set and knowledge base. She pursued higher education at Georgia Perimeter College, where she completed programs in dental lab technology, chairside assisting, and business management. In 2024, Noelle found her perfect match in the professional world at Denver Dentistry, a practice that embraces the principles of biological dentistry. This role not only marks a significant step in her career but also profoundly shifts her perspective on the impact dental health has on the rest of the body. Beyond her professional endeavors, Noelle is an avid adventurer who loves exploring the natural beauty of Colorado. She is on a quest to hike all the "14ers" in the state. When not scaling peaks, she enjoys traveling and cherishing moments with her husband and their three beloved dogs. Noelle's dedication to dental excellence and her commitment to a holistic approach in her field make her a pivotal member of the Denver Dentistry team.

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 earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. His journey in the dental field began when he moved to Colorado in 2015 from Hannibal, New York, a small town outside of Syracuse. Starting as a patient coordinator in corporate dental, Jeromy quickly advanced to office manager and eventually managed multiple offices for a DSO, including specialty practices over the next 4 years. In 2019, his transition to holistic dentistry at Denver Dentistry began. This transition brought new challenges and a renewed passion for learning about the latest sciences and technologies integrated into their practice. Since starting at Denver Dentistry, Jeromy has enjoyed learning about safe mercury removal (SMART Protocol), airway management, ozone, salivary testing, biocompatibility testing for materials, heavy metals testing, and the systemic and oral health connection. Jeromy currently resides in Littleton, enjoying the proximity to the mountains. Outside of work, he cherishes time spent with his wife and daughter and enjoys activities such as snowboarding, bouldering, paintball, soccer, basketball, camping, and hiking. Jeromy's dedication to delivering exceptional customer service and contributing to the team's mission of bringing more healthy smiles to satisfied patients is at the core of his professional ethos.
Chelsea White

Jazmin Contreras

Dental Hygiene Assistant

A native of Guatemala and raised in Carbondale, Colorado, Jazmin Contreras embarked on her medical journey with a degree in Kinesiology from Colorado Mesa University, where she graduated at the top of her class in 2020. Her early professional life included a significant role in a chiropractic office, where she gained an appreciation for the interconnectedness of whole-body health. This experience laid the groundwork for her holistic view of healthcare. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Jazmin leveraged her linguistic skills as a medical interpreter, greatly enhancing her communication capabilities and deepening her understanding of patient needs and concerns. This role proved essential in her development as a healthcare provider, enabling her to effectively bridge cultural and linguistic barriers in medical settings. Jazmin's career trajectory took a definitive turn when she joined Denver Dentistry. Under the guidance of Dr. Grabiak, she was introduced to an innovative holistic approach to dental care that aligned with her own values and aspirations. It was here that Jazmin found her calling, thriving in an environment that embraced both traditional and alternative medical philosophies. Known for her robust critical thinking and problem-solving skills, Jazmin is passionate about educating her patients on the nuances of holistic dentistry. She is dedicated to demystifying dental care, ensuring her patients not only receive top-notch treatment but also understand the broader implications of oral health on overall well-being. When not at the clinic, Jazmin and her husband indulge in the great outdoors, pursuing activities such as hiking, camping, and kayaking. These adventures not only satisfy their love for nature but also provide Jazmin with a refreshed perspective and renewed energy, which she brings back to her patients and her practice.
lizmar thurber

Lizmar Thurber

Expanded Duties Dental Assistant

Lizmar Thurber is a highly experienced Expanded Duties Dental Assistant, distinguished by her extensive background in both traditional and holistic dental practices. Her educational journey began at the University of Florida, College of Dentistry’s Division of Continuing Education, where she specialized in Expanded Duties of Dental Auxiliary Personnel, Radiological Health, and Safety in 2002. She further enhanced her credentials by earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology with an emphasis in Pre-Medicine from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2015. In her role, Lizmar leverages a robust skill set tailored to holistic dental care. She has a profound understanding of holistic health practices and is skilled in using biocompatible materials for dental procedures, such as fillings and crowns, to reduce toxicity. Her empathetic demeanor and excellent interpersonal skills are pivotal in alleviating patient fears, thereby creating a comforting and reassuring environment. Known for her bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish, Lizmar effectively communicates with a diverse patient base, providing clear explanations of holistic dental treatments and procedures. Lizmar's exceptional communication abilities and her capacity to adapt to various treatment modalities are essential in navigating the unique aspects of holistic dental care. Her versatility and adaptability make her an invaluable asset to any dental team, enhancing patient care with a comprehensive, patient-centered approach. Beyond her professional endeavors, Lizmar cherishes the time spent with her family. Together with her husband, and their sons, she actively participates in various sports activities. They frequently travel for the Colorado Prospects baseball club and engage in other sports like basketball and soccer. Additionally, Lizmar serves her community as a worship pastor, where she shares her passion for music and guides others in their spiritual journey with Christ.

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