Our thanks to the office of St. Louis biological dentist Dr. Michael Rehme for letting us share this post from their blog. The original is here.
When you hear about ozone in dentistry, it’s usually about its power to fight infection. That power comes courtesy of a third oxygen atom that turns “breathing” oxygen (O2) into ozone (O3). This makes the molecule unstable. It really wants to lose that extra atom and become “regular” oxygen once again.
That instability is what makes it such a powerful antimicrobial. That third atom readily attaches to bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, interfering with their function. Ozone also stimulates oxygen metabolism and activates the immune system, further defending against harmful microorganisms.
So ozone is ideal for treating infectious conditions such as gum disease and dental caries (tooth decay). It’s also used to support healing from dental surgery and preparing teeth for restorations.
What you don’t hear about so much in dentistry is ozone for treating pain, such as from tooth sensitivity or TMJ disorders. Yet here, too, it may have a role to play.
A new study in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation focuses on this – in particular, treating chronic pain in the chewing muscles. The trial compared treatment results between two groups of women, one that received ozone therapy, one that received sham ozone as a placebo.
Both groups experienced improvements, actually.
However, the study hypothesis that bio-oxidative ozone application to the sites of most severe pain would produce better results than sham bio-oxidative ozone application at predetermined points was supported. Bio-oxidative ozone application appeared to be superior to sham bio-oxidative ozone application and differences were significant. [emphasis added]
Pain intensity went down and patients’ pressure pain thresholds went up. They also experienced ”significantly better results” with respect to their ability to move their jaw compared to the placebo group.
The follows earlier research suggesting that ozone may be more effective than drugs for treating TMJ pain. In one such study, 87% of patients receiving ozone therapy either improved or recovered completely. Only about a third of the patients in the drug group showed improvement, and none recovered completely.
Why should ozone help with pain? Dr. Frank Shallenberger, among others, has suggested that chronic pain results from a lack of oxygen utilization. “Reverse this,” he says, “and an area of chronic pain will become normal again. Reverse this, and an area of chronic degeneration will begin to regenerate exactly as it was supposed to in the first place.”
Cells need oxygen to heal. Ozone stimulates the healing response.
This makes it even more valuable to dentistry – and medicine – than ever. Powerful. Effective. Non-invasive. Safe. What more could you ask for in a treatment?
Masseter image by Anatomography