Probiotics are typically advertised as being helpful for digestion. However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health. Probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease. Therefore, there are numerous advantages that probiotics for oral health have on dental hygiene. Our team of dentists and hygienists at Greenwood Dental can answer your questions and conduct a thorough exam to see if probiotics might be a good addition to your oral health routine.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria that confer a health benefit on the host when consumed in adequate amounts. Probiotics can be found in yogurt and other fermented foods, as well as dietary supplements. The probiotic strains used for oral health are typically found in the mouth and gut microbiota. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two of the most common probiotic strains for oral health.
Probiotics work by restoring the natural balance of bacteria in the mouth. This is important because it can lead to oral health problems when this balance is off. Oral probiotics work to keep the bad bacteria in check while promoting the growth of good bacteria.
How Do I Take Probiotics for Oral Health?
There are a few different ways to take probiotics for oral health. You can consume probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt or kefir, or you can take probiotic supplements. If you are taking probiotics for oral health, be sure to look for probiotic strains that are beneficial for oral health. Talk to your dentist or hygienist about which probiotics might be best for you.
Most probiotics are safe and well-tolerated. However, some people may experience mild side effects such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea. If you experience any adverse effects after taking probiotics, stop taking them and talk to your doctor.
Four Benefits of Probiotics for Oral Health
Chances are you’ve heard of probiotics. Perhaps in certain foods like yogurt or as supplements. Probiotics are microorganisms that already exist in your body but can be increased or maintained to improve your gut flora. While not a solution in and of itself for ailments, probiotics can contribute to helping individuals in certain ways. Four benefits of probiotics for oral health include:
- Reducing Gingivitis A study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry has found that probiotics can reduce gum bleeding in moderate to severe Gingivitis patients. In the trial, children were given either a placebo or two different combinations of probiotics. At the three-week mark, it was discovered that children who took probiotics had significant improvements in their gingival status.
- Combating Periodontitis Periodontitis is another oral disease that probiotics have been shown to fight. Periodontitis is caused by harmful bacteria that separate teeth from the gums, creating pockets that can become infected. Probiotics can fight harmful bacteria and lessen the inflammation to help heal the mouth.
- Fighting Cavities Another finding from the trial of the Contemporary Clinical Dentistry showed that children who took probiotics also saw a significant decrease in plaque. The reduction of plaque leads to less decay. Probiotics fight the plaque and occupy the spaces on the teeth where bad bacteria thrive.
- Minimizing Bad Breath Another benefit of probiotics is their effect on bad breath. Bad breath is usually caused by volatile sulfur compound bacteria releasing odor-causing gases. Because probiotics are healthy bacteria, it is believed that they can eliminate the bad bacteria and maintain a healthy bacteria balance in your mouth. The benefits of probiotics are not just limited to digestive health.
You may have questions about probiotics and the science behind them. Fortunately, the team at Greenwood Dental can help.
Learn More By Scheduling an Appointment at Greenwood Dental
Researchers continue to conduct studies to discover new ways probiotics contribute to a healthy mouth and body. Contact our team at Greenwood Dental for more information on oral health or schedule a visit by calling 855.528.3961 today. We can give you advice and guidance on using probiotics for oral health.