Dental Probiotics, Do They Work?
The human body is covered inside out with a unique set of microbes including bacteria, yeast, and others. The mouth is home to about 700 microbial species, collectively making up a distinctive oral microbiome. Some mouth bacteria are beneficial for dental probiotics and overall health while others can wreak havoc on one’s oral health leading to issues such as tooth decay and bad breath.
It’s important to maintain an optimal balance of beneficial bacteria inside the mouth to keep the harmful bacteria at bay. Dental probiotics are one of the means to ensure that there are sufficient healthy bacteria inside the mouth.
What are Dental Probiotics?
Dental probiotics, just like other probiotics, are living beneficial microorganisms safe for consumption by humans. When these are taken up by the body in enough quantities, these can produce valuable effects on the body.
Dental probiotics are affordable natural dietary supplements having food ingredients that could help replenish specific strains of beneficial bacteria inside the mouth to support a healthy oral environment. Typically, these are available in the form of chewable tablets or lozenges that can dissolve in the mouth or a probiotic drink. Oral probiotics are even available in some toothpaste and mouthwashes. There are many different oral probiotics available in the market, both over-the-counter and in prescription forms.
The foods that are easily available and contain natural oral probiotic properties include yogurt, probiotic milk, almond butter, sauerkraut, cultured cottage cheese, dark chocolate, sourdough bread, pickled cucumbers or other fermented vegetables, kefir, miso, kombucha, and others.
To enjoy the benefits of oral probiotics, there is a need to take the proper dosage of dental probiotics. The right dosage varies from one person to another. A dentist in Chicago at First Point Dental can help determine the best dental probiotic and its proper dosage that suits one.
How Do They Work?
The human mouth has both aerobic and anaerobic, good or bad bacteria. Different types of bad bacteria cause infections or other issues such as cavities and gum disease.
Dental probiotics can help increase colonies of viable bacteria in the oral microbiome. So when oral flora is out of whack, dental probiotics can help create a healthy balance of beneficial oral bacteria. The good bacteria can help fight off the harmful bacteria that naturally live in the body in small numbers and even help reduce the pH level inside the mouth.
Do Dental Probiotics Actually Work?
Yes, many findings of medical or dental researchers show that dental probiotics can help address many oral health issues. Here are some of the most common dental health concerns that can benefit from dental probiotics.
- Tooth decay
Tooth decay or dental caries is one of the most prevalent oral health issues, across the globe. It is caused by a dental plaque build-up that breaks down the tooth enamel-outermost protective layer of the tooth. Dental plaque is a result of an accumulation of undesirable bacteria on the teeth surfaces and the gum line.
The right types of strains of dental probiotics can help limit the risk of tooth decay by minimizing the pathogenic species of oral bacteria and reducing the formation of bacterial biofilm (dental plaque).
- Bad breath (Halitosis)
Bad breath is generally associated with the consumption of food items having strong odors such as garlic and onion, dry mouth, smoking, or poor oral health. However, its main culprit is the overabundance of bad bacteria in the oral cavity, mostly on the tongue. Specifically, it’s caused by a release of volatile sulfur compounds inside the mouth from bacteria that degrades food proteins and salivary glands.
Dental probiotics are an effective treatment for halitosis. They can help get rid of bad breath by targeting the bad-breath-causing strains of harmful bacterial strains causing bad breath.
Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils- two oval-shaped tissue pads at the back of the throat. It is caused by bacterial infection of the tonsils. Those who have enlarged or pitted tonsils tend to be at more risk of bacteria imbalance. Certain types of dental probiotics can help reduce the collection of bacteria around the tonsils and even the pharynx. Thus, they can be used to prevent or treat recurring tonsillitis, sore throat (pharyngitis), strep throat, or stinky tonsil stones.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Swollen, tender, or bleeding gums and sensitive teeth may indicate a progressive and destructive gum disease- medically known as periodontitis. It is an outcome of untreated infection of the gums- a condition called gingivitis. Many research studies have shown that a dental probiotic can help encourage oral health in people with gum disease. It can do so by minimizing the bad bacteria along the gum lines after practicing good oral hygiene including brushing and flossing. This way, there are fewer chances of bleeding, inflammation, and tissue detachment around the roots of the teeth.
- Oral Thrush
Oral thrush or oral candidiasis is a yeast infection caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans as well as bad bacteria on the mouth lining. It can be a painful condition. People who are taking antibiotics or are immunocompromised are very susceptible to oral thrush as they have very less beneficial bacteria to protect their oral and overall health. Dental probiotics can help significantly reduce the risk of developing oral thrush by balancing out the good and bad bacteria
- Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and the second-leading cause of cancer-related death. It can develop on different mouth parts like the surface of the tongue, inside of the cheeks, the gums, lips, or the roof (palate).
Dental probiotics can play a role in fighting oral cancer. They can treat or reduce the risk of the formation of malignant cells inside the mouth. They might either help in the complete removal of the unusual cells responsible for cancer or slow/stop the progression of certain cancer types that reside in the oral cavity. Some findings show dental probiotics may have strong anti-cancer properties and can even potentially eliminate the risk of oral cancer. If one is concerned about oral and dental health and wants to give their mouth the best care, they can consult the dentist at First Point Dental Clinic in Illinois. It is one of the most popular dental clinics that offers treatment for all types of cosmetic and general dental treatments. To know more, schedule a visit today!