I recently had the opportunity to watch a one hour video from the Seattle Study Club Annual Symposium of Dr. pat Allen. His presentation looked at the relationship between anti-oxidants, periodontal disease and oral healing. The data presented left me compelled to try the use of topical anti-oxidants in my practice as an adjunct to our periodontal therapy regimen. I will keep you posted on the results I see, but wanted to share the incredible information. Before we can look at the role of anti-oxidants therapeutically we need to understand the process called oxidative stress.
Our cells are exposed continuously to reactive oxygen particles from a variety of environmental, medical and other sources. As with so many things we are designed to adapt and protect ourselves from this attack. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and our ability to readily detoxify the reactive oxygen species or repair the resulting cell damage. This imbalance occurs when we have a significant increase in the amount of reactive oxidizing agents, a decrease in our anti-oxidant capacity or both. Cells are designed to recover from mild or moderate amounts of oxidative stress, but severe episodes can result in significant cell damage or cell death.
Decreasing the presence of reactive oxidizing species, or increasing our anti-oxidant capacity not only prevents cell damage but has the ability to increase tissue repair. This is the premise behind all of the current research into the use of topical anti-oxidants int he oral environment. In tomorrow’s post I will look at the current uses of topical anti-oxidants.