The Benefits of Oral Probiotics in Prescott
Last Updated on
Many people know about using probiotics for digestive health. But what you may not know, is that they are good for oral health, too! There are several benefits of oral probiotics that our staff at Prescott Dentistry wants you to know about.
The mouth normally contains a number of microbes that together, are called the oral microbiome. This microbiome includes healthy and harmful bacteria. A healthy microbiome protects the mucous membranes of the mouth, as well as the teeth. When the microbiome becomes unbalanced by diet, drugs, or disease, dysbiosis occurs. Dysbiosis can lead to cavities, bad breath, and gum disease. Probiotics work by restoring a healthy balance to the microbiome.
Cavities are caused by harmful bacteria in the mouth. Strep mutans is the most common oral pathogen. This bacteria consumes sugars that we eat and turns them into something called acid plaque. This acid plaque causes the protective layers of your teeth, enamel and dentin, to soften. Saliva dissolves these softened layers, leaving a hole in the tooth. If this hole, or cavity, is not filled by a dentist, further damage will occur. Studies have shown that oral probiotics can help prevent the growth of strep mutans by keeping it from growing out of control.
Fight Bad Breath
A 2006 study found that probiotic mouthwash is effective in fighting bad breath. This study had participants use an antibacterial mouthwash for three days. Afterwards, they were given either a probiotic mouthwash or a placebo mouthwash. The study found that 85% of the participants who took the probiotic mouthwash experienced a significant reduction in the bacteria that causes bad breath.
Manage Gum Disease
One of the main problems with dysbiosis is that it reduces the mouth’s natural immune response. This leaves the mouth more susceptible to bacteria that cause gum disease. Restoring a healthy microbiome with probiotics can help the immune system fight off this harmful bacteria. One study found that using a probiotic strain called L. acidophilus significantly improved symptoms of gingivitis. It also found that probiotic chewing gum decreased inflammation in patients with gum disease.
While there is still more research to be done, we are excited about the possibilities of oral probiotics! At Prescott Dentistry, we offer oral probiotics as part of our commitment to providing comprehensive, holistic dental care. Ask us about the benefits of oral probiotics at your next appointment!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/11/2019) Pixaby