In previous posts I tried to define a process called oxidative stress, which occurs when our cells are exposed to more oxidizing agents than they can detoxify. Fortifying our cells against this process, and even increasing healing is the premise behind the use of topical anti-oxidants. We have numerous studies that have shown that wound healing is diminished in the presence of oxidzing agents. In addition these studies have shown that the addition of a combination of anti-oxidants topically reverses the cell damage process and even encourages wound healing. From these original studies clinical research was completed. there are a variety of conditions on which the use of topical anti-oxidants has been shown to have a positive effect:
- Geographic Tongue
- Oral Lichen Planus
- Nicotine Use ( Dip, Snuff)
- Wound Healing
- Bisphosphonate Induced Osteonecrosis
The anti-oxidants are applied topically and require repetitive application for continued benefit. With conditions like geographic tongue patients report less frequent bouts that are less intense. For patients who use chewing tobacco or dip, the obvious recommendation is to stop. With that said the application of topical antioxidants to areas of tissue change can create remarkable improvement in the appearance and health of the tissues involved. It was amazing to look at clinical presentations that I see in practice everyday, where patients have excellent fitting restorations, no biologic width violation and yet have a continuous red ring around the gingiva. The application of the topical anti-oxidants returned the tissue to a perfect pink in 6-12 weeks without the restoration being changed or more traditional perio therapy occurring.