Fight the Good Fight: Antioxidants are Reinforcements in the Battle for Oral Health
Every day, the body’s natural defense system wages a battle against destructive pathogens and other external insults.
In the oral cavity, pathogens for dental caries, gingivitis and periodontitis are ever present. When they assault delicate oral tissues, white blood cells and other defenders rush in to fight in the battle of infection and inflammation.
Oral tissues also face attack by invaders such as nicotine, alcohol, drugs, pollutants, and even dental materials such as bleaching compounds, metals and bonding agents.
The fallout from the body’s battle against hostile forces includes free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), the unstable molecules that steal electrons from cell structures, leading to tissue damage.
A formidable defensive force in the combat is saliva. Normal saliva is rich in organic molecules that have antibacterial properties. The saliva also contains antioxidant compounds that are the foot soldiers in the battle against free radicals.
Antioxidants are large, complex molecules that donate electrons to neutralize free radicals. When there aren’t enough antioxidants, the free radicals and ROS accumulate, resulting in an “oxidant burden,” or oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is linked to a vast array of problems; in particular, periodontitis as well as chronic inflammatory diseases including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes and many more. Antibiotic drugs and other antimicrobial agents can reduce pathogen load, but what about the battle with the free radicals?
The answer is to reinforce salivary antioxidants. And perhaps the most effective and efficient way to do that is topical application, directly to the oral tissues.
Since 2010, PerioSciences has provided AO ProVantage dental antioxidant gel to work in concert with salivary antioxidants. Along with powerful antioxidants phloretin and ferulic acid, AO ProVantage contains essential oils and other ingredients with antimicrobial properties. Dental professionals have reported impressive results in actual case studies. Here are just two:
• A 36-year-old man had a chronic buccal lesion due to smokeless tobacco. After six weeks‘ daily application of AO ProVantage, the lesion was substantially healed — even though the patient continued to “dip” tobacco.
• A 62-year-old woman suffered severe inflammation and gingival recession around a recent dental implant. After four weeks of daily AO ProVantage, the inflammation subsided enough to allow grafting surgery.
Other case studies report excellent results with geographic tongue, xerostomia, wound healing following surgery, gingival inflammation, lichen planus, aphthous ulcers and many other examples.
Along with hundreds of other dental professionals, I recommend AO ProVantage for all dental patients, including those with good oral health. It’s best to introduce every patient to the benefits of topical antioxidants chairside, so they can experience the pleasant, soothing effect and learn how simple it is to use. The gel is applied with a fingertip to oral tissues and spread around the oral cavity by the tongue.
By arming your patients with topical antioxidants, AO ProVantage helps their salivary antioxidants win in the battle against oxidative stress.