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Kiss bad bugs in your mouth goodbye

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Chronic periodontitis is an inflammation of the gums that affects approximately 20% of the adult US population. Having your teeth cleaned twice a year by a dental hygienist can remove plaque and improve the health of your gums, but it is also necessary to practice good oral hygiene on a daily basis. Your mouth is a location where many harmful bacteria can take up residence. In addition to giving you bad breath and promoting gum disease, they can enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc elsewhere in your body.

My wife and I recently tried a product line marketed by CloSYS, which clinical studies have proven to be effective at keeping harmful oral bacteria at bay. The CloSYS oral health system consists of a whitening toothpaste, an oral rinse, and a spray. We found that the toothpaste and rinse to be pleasant and refreshing. I then interviewed Andy Gritti, the Executive Vice President of Rowpar Pharmaceuticals, the makers of CloSYS Oral Care Products. He is passionate about his products and notes that they have benefited his oral health.

Gritti explained that the active ingredient in the toothpaste, oral rinse, and oral spray is stabilized chlorine dioxide. These are buffered, pH-balanced solutions of chlorine dioxide that are stable in the package but are activated when introduced into the lower pH environment of the mouth. They act in three important ways: (1) they kill Streptococci that cause dental plaque: 99% kill in 10 seconds; (2) they kill the bacteria that cause gingivitis and periodontitis; and (3) they eliminate the volatile sulfur compounds that enable the bacteria to permeate ulcerations in gum tissue, enter the blood stream, and attack the connective tissue and, eventually, the bone.

The form of chlorine in the products is safe. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have both developed comprehensive toxicological profiles for chlorine dioxide and chlorite that assures the safety of its use by the general public. Some adverse events were reported for some of the toxicology studies; however, all events occurred with the ingestion or the direct injection of a significantly higher concentration and greater volume of chlorine dioxide or stabilized chlorine dioxide than is present in CloSYS oral rinse. No adverse events linked to product use were reported during clinical trials or since the product’s release into the consumer market in 1991.

Gritti noted that two published studies have documented the safety and effect of a stabilized chlorine dioxide oral rinse and toothpaste on both gingivitis and oral soft tissue. The first study examined the oral rinse and toothpaste for its ability to effectively aid in treating and managing periodontitis as an adjunctive therapy to scaling and root planing. The subjects were asked to use the rinse twice daily. Periodontitis and periodontal pockets were measured and evaluated. A significant percentage of the probe scores (67.4%) were reduced from 4 or more millimeters to 3 or less millimeters in an average of 3.4 months. The second retrospective clinical study was performed to compare the number of bleeding on probing sites that measured 4 mm or more with the use versus the nonuse of the CloSYS oral rinse and toothpaste system. The rinse and toothpaste used together between dental hygiene recall visits showed a 72% reduction in bleeding on probing as a result of their use. When the products were withdrawn the incidence of bleeding increased by approximately 100%. The products were returned to the patient and the bleeding was again reduced

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