August 09, 2022 8 min read
This Blog At A Glance:
Think of your mouth at the end of the day, or worse yet, in the morning. You may sometimes feel a film on your teeth. That film and that morning breath is nothing short of bacteria colonies growing in your mouth. Now imagine the mouth of an animal. Their mouths are much worse than ours. Animals roam outside; they eat grass and unmentionables; they chew on sticks; they drink water out of mud puddles; etc. However, when ozone is used on oral bacteria, its power destroys the DNA of the bacteria cells so that the bacteria cannot grow back.
To be very frank, oral care for an animal typically isn’t the same as it is for humans. I, for one, do brush my teeth each day, but my dog, Tex, doesn’t get his brushed every day. If I’m truly honest, Tex’s teeth don’t get brushed nearly as often as they should, let alone professionally cleaned and polished.
More times than not, an animal is brought to a vet clinic for dental work when there is no hope of saving the tooth (teeth) that is causing the problem. However, there are those occasions when a pet parent will be diligent about a pet’s oral health and will take the pet to the vet for dental care before a tooth is deemed unworthy of saving. An example of such a case is a pet who has an abscessed tooth. In this case, the first step would be to remove the necrotic pulp by inserting a cannula into the affected area and flushing the necrosis. Ozone is ideal for flushing out necrosis.
As barbaric as it may sound, the traditional liquid used to flush necrosis was bleach. The very same bleach you use on your clothes. But thanks to ozone, bleach so strong that it can turn things different colors no longer has to be used to flush an animal’s bacteria from the mouth.
Another traditional substance used for flushing and rinsing in veterinary dentistry is called Chlorhexidine. This substance is used to break down bacteria, but studies have shown that using ozonated water or ozonated saline in place of Chlorhexidine is more effective.
Hand in hand with killing bacteria goes sanitizing.
Ozone is the best option for sanitization following a routine dental cleaning. When ozonated water is flushed through periodontal pockets, the results are amazing. The ozonated water sanitizes those pockets so much better than anything else can. In fact, studies have indicated that using ozonated water this way kills off 99% the bacteria within 60 seconds and 75% within 30 seconds.
Tissue and other forms of life cannot sustain without oxygen. Ozone plays a huge role in oxygenation. It’s the punch behind oxygen. Ozone improves normal oxygenation processes; therefore, it improves the life cycle of the tissue.
Some veterinarians use ozone therapy solely for its ability to reduce inflammation.
If a pet is brought to a clinic with gingivitis, a broken tooth, root issues, jaw pain, an abscess, or any other form of oral pain, ozone therapy should be your go-to tool. It reduces pain and swelling. Ozone is also perfect for an animal who has just experienced dental surgery, a tooth extraction, gum bleeding, and/or has receding gums.
Dental bonding and sealing are common in veterinary dentistry when an animal presents with exposed dentin. This can create awful pain because the nerve is being exposed to open air. I’ve had this happen to myself, and it’s excruciating!
Studies have shown that animals feel this horrible nerve pain three times more than humans because they have more nerve endings. Ozone comes into play in dental bonding and sealing because a tooth has to be cleaned very thoroughly before a crown or bond is placed on it. And using ozone for this cleaning can actually result in three to four times more bonding strength than other methods used because the ozone is killing off 99% of the bacteria before the crown or bond is put on.
Ozone can also be used as a desensitizer when a tooth is sensitive and on the brink of destruction. This can be accomplished by placing a silicone cupping device over the tooth and delivering ozone gas for 30 to 60 seconds. The ozone opens the dental tubules that are causing the occlusion, which results in desensitization of the nerve endings in that area. (A vacuum or piece of equipment with a destruct on it should be used to minimize the amount of ozone gas that is inhaled by an animal during this procedure.)
Another avenue of desensitizing tooth nerve pain that may be worth trying is applying ozonated oil directly on the tooth or the area where the sensitivity is. The results are showing that this is very effective.
Tooth enamel is the protective outer layer of the teeth. An animal’s body takes calcium and phosphate minerals from the salvia and deposits them in the tooth enamel. But, when that animal eats and drinks, his/her teeth lose those minerals in a process called “demineralization.” The power of ozone helps with the remineralization process of tooth enamel by hardening the tooth enamel thus protecting it. In fact, in human dentistry, ozone is replacing the use of fluoride for this purpose. How’s that for potent?
If an animal happens to need sutures in the mouth for whatever reason, there is a potential that the animal could react to the sutures, which causes overreactive tissue to become inflamed and painful. Ozone saves the day here as well! Ozonated water can be used to reduce the inflammation caused by such a reaction thereby calming the tissue down.
With the Covid pandemic, most of us have personally experienced shortages and items on backorder over the past two and a half years. Pharmaceuticals are no exception to these shortages.
Doxirobe is just an example of one drug used for the treatment and control of periodontal disease in dogs. However, it is often on backorder, so veterinarians are unable to keep it on hand. In these situations, ozone can be a critical tool to stave off infection. Ozonated water can be just as, if not more, effective than Doxirobe and other medications.
In the scenario of drug shortages used for animal dentistry, a veterinarian who purchases ozone equipment will not have to endure a shortage or question if/when a medication will become available. That veterinarian can simply reach across the table and grab the ozonated fluid.
There is no overhead cost with ozone therapy. Once a veterinarian purchases ozone equipment, they’ve sealed the deal. Ozone therapy equipment is not at all costly when compared to most pharmaceuticals and other everyday veterinary expenses.
In the extreme busyness of life, not much these days is truly all natural. We have additives in almost everything we eat, drink, wash with, and feed our animals.
But ozone is all natural. There are no additives, frills, preservatives, flavorings, or otherwise in ozone. Plain and simple, it's a very powerful form of oxygen.
Who would’ve known? Ozonated water can help to keep your dental equipment and tools sterilized and free of debris.
Ozone can be used to remove buildup of biofilm left by water and other substances from everyday use of dental equipment. Ozonated water can be run through scalers, drills, and all dental hand pieces on a monthly or so basis to clean them. (Care should be taken not to do this too often because ozone can break down normal plastics and other materials.)
(Note: If using ozonated water to clean dental instruments, the ozone concentration used to bubble the water should be a little lower than for use in killing bacteria, etc.)
So many times, animals are brought to a veterinary clinic because they’re having health issues that don’t seem to be related to dental health at all, but lots of times other illnesses manifest themselves in different ailments that boil down to poor dental hygiene.
And on the flip side of that, treatment for animals with cancer and other serious illnesses can begin with dentistry. More times than not, an animal who has cancer also has horrible things going on in the mouth, which is a cesspool for inflammation and disease.
When inflammation and other issues inside the mouth are dealt with, some of the consequences that occur with cancer, diabetes, etc., can be managed more readily and successfully. In fact, if infection isn’t addressed in the mouth, treatments for cancer and other diseases will fail. Just as our brains control every aspect of our bodies, our mouths are also connected to every aspect of hygiene in our bodies.
It is a great idea to administer ozone rectally before a dental procedure. This serves to reduce inflammation before the procedure even begins. Additionally, rectal ozone helps to reduce pain that may exist post-treatment.
Pet owners who bring their furry friends to a vet clinic for dental procedures, surgery, etc., may benefit from taking ozonated fluids home so they can continue to rinse out their pets’ mouths to keep them clean from bacteria after the fact. This can be done if the ozonated fluid leaves the clinic in an ozone-resistant jar and is kept cold in the refrigerator. The ozone in that jar can last up to three days if kept cold and not taken in and out of the refrigerator repeatedly. Click here to see such a jar.
Not every veterinary clinic out there utilizes the amazing healing effects of ozone therapy for cancer, autoimmune diseases, immune disorders, diabetes, etc., Even fewer clinics use it when performing dental procedures.
But is ozone therapy the future of veterinary dentistry?
I think so! And I don’t think I’m alone in my thinking.
A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry indicates that ozone therapy applied as a 30% ozonized mineral oil ointment showed efficacy as a prevention of dental plaque when used after conventional periodontal treatments. And this study also indicated that there was no gastrointestinal toxicity or topical side effects on the oral tissue after using it for 7 days. This shows that ozone is truly safe.
This article published by Medical Gas Research describes ozone in dentistry as this: “Ozone therapy is the most minimally invasive treatment method with no discomfort or pain.”
And here’s a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information that concludes with this:
“In contrast with traditional medicine modalities such as antibiotics and disinfectants, ozone therapy is quite economical; it will markedly reduce both medical cost and invalidity. Dentistry is varying with induction of modern science to practice dentistry. The ozone therapy has been more beneficial than present conventional therapeutic modalities that follow a minimally invasive and conservative application to dental treatment. The exposition of molecular mechanisms of ozone further benefits practical function in dentistry. Treating patients with ozone therapy lessens the treatment time with an immense deal of variation and it eradicates the bacterial count more specifically. The treatment is painless and increases the patients’ tolerability and fulfillment with minimal adverse effects.”
There is no doubt in our mind that the future of veterinary dentistry includes ozone therapy.