Posts Tagged ‘Ozone Therapy’

Natural Relief from Pericoronitis

We learned a few weeks ago that crowded wisdom teeth are the most common root cause of pericoronitis because of their slow and inhibited, often incomplete, emergence. Since a lifetime of prevention is really the only “cure” for crowded teeth, we’re left to manage the consequences of malnourishment. Pericoronitis is just one painful, unfortunate result of the wisdom teeth not having enough room to come in properly.

Many, if not most, people have their wisdom teeth removed either out of necessity or recommendation by their dentists. A good number of people keep those teeth, however, for one reason or another. A few have wisdom teeth that come in normally and healthily. Regardless of where you stand, an oral irrigator is an indispensable tool for prevention and early treatment should your wisdom teeth become susceptible to an infection like pericoronitis.

An irrigator is an excellent appliance to keep by your bathroom sink. We can show you how to use it if you don’t have any experience with one. Oral irrigation is one of the best things you can do for your gums, whether it’s around your wisdom teeth or the rest of them. The clean feeling they leave behind is unbelievable. Particular to pericoronitis, though, it is one of the easiest ways to keep the large gum pockets around the wisdom teeth free of food particles, making it an inhospitable environment for infection.

Even if an infection does set in, an irrigator is good for keeping the area clean and hopefully speeding up the process. Of the two scenarios you want to be in, prevention is by far better; irrigating the area affected by pericoronitis will help, but will be incredibly painful.

What are some other ways of coping with a pericoronitis infection?

In my office, we can help with some ozone treatment or laser therapy. This is probably the most effective treatment.

At-home remedies include rinsing or irrigating with a solution of warm water and baking soda. This can be very soothing, but must be done frequently because the effect is temporary. It is helpful for keeping your mouth clean, however. Adding hydrogen peroxide to your oral irrigator is also a good idea.

Diluting top-quality clove bud essential oil in a carrier oil (like coconut oil, which is also healing to gum tissue) and applying it to the area can help. Start with a 1:30 ratio of clove bud oil to carrier oil and work your way up until you feel the numbing effect. You might receive compliments for smelling like pumpkin pie.

You are a trooper if you make it through a bout of pericoronitis without pharmaceutical assistance. Pericoronitis can develop into something more serious, so don’t completely mask the symptoms with painkillers. As I’ve said before, while you’re treating it, consuming only nourishing, well-cooked soft or liquid foods will ease the chewing burden on your teeth and will help your immune system fight the infection.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

Advertisements

Dental Laser Therapy for Periodontitis — What to Expect

There are different degrees of gum disease. Sometimes it’s mild, manifesting itself as soft tissue swelling, redness, or sensitivity. Other times it’s severe, probably a case that has been neglected too long. Recessed tissues, deep pockets, extreme pain, bad tastes/smells, and an ongoing infection are indicative of periodontitis.

If you have been diagnosed with periodontitis, your level of treatment will depend on the severity of your case. Obviously, mild cases will heal up quickly if you receive prompt treatment and you take care of yourself. A more serious condition of gum disease could take months to properly recover from. Diseased gums that have shrunken and shriveled off teeth need time and a clean, clean environment in order to grow back and fit snugly around them again.

Conventional periodontal therapy/surgery is effective but invasive. In order to remove diseased tissue, parts of the gums and teeth may be simply cut out instead of treated. Ironically, this kind of treatment leads to a longer, harder recovery and can weaken oral health permanently. Risk of mistakes on the dentist’s part increase as well.

In a holistic practice, however, where a laser is used in conjunction with ozone gas, surgery is almost never necessary. Dental laser wavelengths can be calibrated, in a sense, to perform many different functions ranging from gentle cleaning of diseased tissue — without damaging normal tissues in the same area — to cutting and reshaping of tissue. It is completely non-toxic and much less painful than regular slicing and dicing because of its inherent cauterizing properties. Bacteria cannot survive under a laser’s beam, so the process of sterilization is furthermore simplified, especially with additional blasts of ozone gas. Not to mention, recovery is faster and smoother because of minimal intervention and blood flow stimulation.

Perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease. During an initial inspection of your periodontal health, the degree of the disease will be evaluated and your individual prognosis will be determined. You’ll be instructed on the steps you must take in order to heal. At your appointment, your mouth and teeth will be cleaned and thoroughly prepared so the environment is in the best possible shape for a temporary “construction zone.”

At the site of treatment, the gum pocket(s) will be separated from the tooth with an instrument, and the laser will be used to clean away the infection and dead/decaying parts of the tooth and gums. All exposed surfaces of the tooth and gums are prepared to bond together again so healing may occur. Blood clotting stimulation may be administered to further speed up healing. The process is quite speedy; most cases can be taken care of in a single appointment and may also leave the patient in conditions good enough to return to work the next day.

As always, however, the best cure for a disease or infection is prevention in the first place. My laser adds a fantastic element of superior dental care to this practice, but as the patient, preventing gum disease by yourself in the first place is the best route to take.

Happy flossing!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

Healing an Injured Tooth

The method of treatment varies from injury to injury and depends on the severity of the damage done. Most injuries are caused by accidents that happen quickly. Major injuries are fairly noticeable because of the bleeding, pain, or visible cracks or chips in the tooth — or maybe it has been knocked out completely. Minor injuries may not be as noticeable at first, but are just as harmful to the tooth. For example, a small crack may occur nearer to the root than the crown and cause damage to the dentin, nerve, pulp, and blood flow to that tooth. Someone may choose to ignore the pain if it is minor enough. But when the tooth starts turning gray or black because it has “died,” then it is probably too late to salvage. If the person had had the tooth closely examined and x-rayed by a dentist, he probably would have been able to avoid the slow decay.

When there is damage to the tooth’s structure, besides preserving what natural structure we can, of equal priority is to protect it from further damage. Ozone gas, of course, works wonderfully for crawling into the microscopic cracks and crannies (whether old or new), completely sterilizing everything inside and out, halting any further decay or infection, and providing an ideal site for strong repairs and healing.

A dental laser is also a useful tool when repairing injured teeth. The laser can be used doubly for sterilization and cleaning out dead tissues that may have accumulated. Shaping soft tissues (gums) and speeding up healing are more of the laser’s useful benefits. To repair cracks and chips, laser- or light-cured composite may be used, and they are much stronger, far less risky, healthier, and better-looking than amalgam. For structure damage, whether caused by poor hygiene/diet or injury, laser-cured composite actually bonds to the tooth itself unlike the silver-mercury amalgam, which will likely crack and separate because of its non-biocompatibility and sensitivity to temperature changes.*

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

*In other words, don’t consume hot things and cold things simultaneously. That’s one fast way to spring cracks and leaks in your amalgam fillings. While you’re at it, make an appointment to just get them replaced completely. It’s bad to keep mercury in your body.

Further Insight On Gum Disease

When we check for signs of gum disease, we use a thin, tiny ruler to measure the depth of these “gaps”, or “pockets”, along your gumline. This can give us an idea of how well your teeth and gums are doing healthwise. Healthy gums and healthy teeth have pockets that measure at 3mm or less, which is equal to slightly less than 1/8 in. However, at around 3mm, early stages of gingivitis (fancy name for the first progression of full-on gum disease) may appear: the swelling, redness, and sensitivity of gums may start becoming a bother. From there, the pocket deepens as the infection grows, slowly separating the tooth from the gum tissue. This is how the tooth becomes loose or how it eventually falls out; the tooth’s root is in serious danger!

Another thing to consider is that these acidic bacteria and their acidic waste (yes, their waste, as in feces!) can become trapped in this pocket between tooth and gums. The gums, most likely, are already pretty swollen, so any deep-cleaning is painful to begin with, which leaves the bacteria to continue multiplying and rotting your tooth. Getting an ozone cleaning will help out with this a little bit, but it’s always the price to pay for poor oral hygiene habits (…or the lack thereof).

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

Utilizing Ozone into Dental Implant Surgery

See how many great uses ozone has in the office? And, behold! Another one! Ozone is great for every dental surgery, including dental implant surgery.

Implants are used to replace teeth that have been lost or extracted, possibly due to disease or injury. A new “root” is drilled directly through the gums into the upper or lower jaw bone (depending on where the implant is needed) and is secured there. This new “root” will serve as the anchor for an artificial replacement tooth.

As usual, it is important to keep the area sterilized while surgery is being performed. Dental implant surgery goes deeper, literally, than each individual tooth. After surgery, there is a healing period where the surrounding bone and gums must be monitored to ensure that the new teeth are properly integrated into healthy oral function (this includes avoiding gum recession, for example, or infections in the mandible). Ozone is wonderful because it sterilizes more effectively and safely than traditional chemical sterilizers; not only this, but it also stimulates healthy gum healing and helps infuse the bone structure with strengthening minerals.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com