I am stating the obvious when I say that the Internet is the foremost consulted source of knowledge and answers to the world’s questions. We do it without thinking. Where was the transition, and why, in retrospect, does it feel like it happened without us noticing? Once upon a time, there was no cyberspace, no “online,”no instant mental gratification (unless you lived next-door to a library). What did we do all day? How did we work? As a dentist highly reliant on the latest technology available, the Internet has become a part of the skeleton of my practice. Without it, my practice would have fizzled out long ago in this fast-paced world.
But I do not mean to get all philosophical with you today. Today’s post just got me partly reminiscing about days gone by when society was more “awake” to the physical world around it, but also causing me to express gratitude in how much computers have transformed science and medicine and my own work.
In the online world of patients searching for solutions for their dental diseases and ails, oral irrigation has been quite a popular topic lately. I must say it’s for good reason. It is one of the best at-home dental hygiene routines you can maintain at home.
Pericoronitis, in particular, seems to be the central purpose for which people seek healing and relief through irrigation. Pericoronitis, if you remember, is an infection which develops under a gum flap of emerging teeth — usually the wisdom teeth of young adults. It is caused by the body defending itself from a foreign invader, which is usually an overabundance of bacteria feeding on a particle of uncleaned food. The pain is quite severe. The infection will remain swollen for up to several days or a few weeks. Even someone in good health has a tough time kicking this infection in less time, which is why it is so important to prevent it in the first place. Irrigation does just that, and it does it very well.
In those hard-to-reach areas around your teeth — and there are many — an oral irrigator shoots thin streams of water, ozone water, or diluted oral cleansing solutions, gently forcing out the debris that is not supposed to be there. Finely squirted liquid crawls into the places that floss can’t reach, effectively cleansing and leaving the mouth refreshed. How does this help healing and preventing infections? We’ll look into that tomorrow.
Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles