Oral Probiotics: Benefits of Oral Health Pro-Biotics for Teeth and Gums

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With lifestyle diseases on the rise, more and more people are practicing healthy eating. As a result, the popularity of probiotic-fortified products has propelled to new levels.

Oral Probiotics

If you think that you’ve not yet been affected by this ‘healthy’ trend, you might want to think twice. Kombuchas, yogurt, and kefir are some of the front liners of this probiotic fad and are a staple in most households today.

Probiotics have been a topic of interest in recent times. When used as a supplement to a normal diet, they have been known to cure health problems that were previously thought to be incurable. 

You hear enormous hurrahs of probiotic–related foods for gut health. But there are probiotics for dental health as well. Learn more about oral health probiotics in this article.

What are oral probiotics?

Probiotics are defined as “live microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”. In the dental context, they are supplements that when taken can enhance optimal oral care and health.

Although adequate clinical trials have yet to be conducted, the science of probiotics has been backed up by years of research. Most study outcomes indicate that specific probiotics have been closely and positively associated with oral health.

Oral probiotics are made of specific strains of beneficial bacteria that are naturally found in the body. Upon ingesting these strains, they help eliminate the production of bad bacteria and encourage the growth of good bacteria in the mouth.

Like the gut, the mouth is also made up of a community of bacteria called a microbiome. Studies have indicated a synergistic relationship between the oral microbiota and oral health. 

However, unlike gut probiotics, dental probiotics are most effective when delivered directly to the mouth in the form of chewable tablets, lozenges, or drinks.

As you start taking probiotics, they deliver bacterial strains directly to your mouth so that they can colonize the oral cavity and form biofilms. Due to this beneficial action in the oral cavity, it helps in preventing or treating oral diseases in the long term.

How do they work?

Having an overgrowth of bad bacteria or yeast in your mouth can prove to be hazardous for your dental health. Probiotic bacteria help improve your oral as well as overall health by pushing out the bad bacteria.

Oral Bacteria

Mostly delivered through chewable tablets, gummies, or drinks, these probiotics help in treating the overabundance of oral pathogens. They also aid in rebalancing the oral pH. Prolonged and regular use can prevent any disease ranging from bad breath to gum disease.

Some foods that contain natural probiotic properties include:

  • Probiotic milk
  • Yogurt
  • Kombucha (fermented tea)
  • Kefir (fermented milk)
  • Fruits like mangoes
  • Cultured cottage cheese
  • Almond butter
  • Miso (fermented soybean)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Sourdough bread
  • Sauerkraut

What are the best probiotic strains to take?

Some oral microbiome probiotic strains are considered to be valuable in maintaining oral health. These strains include:

  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Lactobacillus salivarius
  • Lactobacillus paracasei
  • Lactobacillus sakei
  • Weissella cibaria
  • Bifidobacterium strains
  • Streptococcus salivarius K12
  • Streptococcus salivarius M18

Oral probiotics are given in the form of lozenges, drinks, mouth rinses, or chewable tablets. They are meant to sit in your mouth for a certain period until they dissolve. This gives it enough time to inoculate your oral microbiome.

Oral microbiome

Several brands of dental probiotics are available in the market. You can try dentist-formulated advanced oral probiotics for teeth and gums with BLIS K12 M18-60 Chewable Oral Health Probiotics Supplement Tablets Mint.

Other reliable brands include Probiora Health and Stellalife® Probiotics Kit, two formulas designed to stimulate a healthy mouth and body.

Benefits of oral care probiotics

Although the U.S. Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved any health claims by oral care probiotics, they have recently approved the first probiotic pill for gut health called the SER-109. 

This green light has jumpstarted a revolution in wellness, proving that the FDA approval for oral care probiotics may not be as far-fetched as previously thought.

Despite this, several studies have suggested the multitude of benefits of probiotics for oral health. Here are six possible dental benefits of oral care probiotics:

For Tooth Cavities

If you do not practice proper oral hygiene like regular brushing or flossing, clusters of bacteria on the tooth surface begin to feed on sugar molecules and produce acid that attacks the tooth enamel.  As a result, it can cause tooth decay or cavities to form.

If left unchecked, tooth decay can cause infections in the surrounding tissues that may require a root canal or worse, extraction. Fortunately, experts inform you that if caught early on, you can reverse cavities with the help of dietary and lifestyle adjustments. 

Probiotics can help prevent cavities by improving the immunity of the mouth and producing antibacterial compounds that fight cavity-causing bacteria. They also alter the pH of the mouth to stop cavity growth and improve remineralization of the enamel.

Some probiotic supplements that are known for preventing tooth decay and plaque buildup are:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus paracasei
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus salivarius
  • Bifidobacillus
  • Streptococcus thermophilus

For Bad breath

While several factors can cause bad breath, oral and gut health has been directly linked to this condition. This is called halitosis. Common bad breath treatments for adults include professional cleaning and a strict oral hygiene regimen.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Various studies investigating the benefits of probiotics on bad breath found that good probiotics can reduce volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that cause bad breath. 

Another study followed 23 people using anti-microbial mouthwash and a supplement of probiotic Streptococcus salivarius. They found that 85 percent of people who took the probiotic had major reductions in bacteria responsible for bad odor.

These supplements work by reducing the compounds that cause halitosis. Some probiotics that can result in fresh breath are:

  • Streptococcus salivarius K12
  • Lactobacillus salivarius
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Lactobacillus casei

For oral cancer

Another astonishing health benefit of probiotics is that they can help keep your mouth and oral tissues cancer-free. Yes, probiotic supplements can help decrease your risk of developing oral cancer.

Oral cancer develops when there are harmful bacteria in the mouth. By correcting the imbalance of bacteria in the mouth, probiotics can prevent oral cancer altogether. 

A 2013 study found that a bacterial strain called Lactobacillus salivarius reduces oral cancer in rats. However, no clinical trials with human patients have confirmed this theory.

According to two reviews published in 2020, some probiotic strains may help stop or reverse oral cancer growth, namely:

  • Lactobacillus salivarius REN
  • Lactobacillus rhamsosus GG
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Acetobacter syzigii

For gum disease

Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gums that affects 42 percent of adults in the U.S. It has been directly interlinked to higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s.

Gum disease is not reversible. Once you develop gum recession, you can only try and control its progression by maintaining proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. 

Receded Gums

Surprisingly, it has been found that not only can probiotic-fortified supplements give you fresher breath, but they can also improve your gum health.

At least 11 clinical trials have concluded that oral probiotics can improve periodontal health. The supplements reduced gum bleeding and reduced gingivitis symptoms in the participants.

The probiotics praised for their gum-healing properties are:

  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Lactobacillus brevis

For oral thrush

Oral thrush or candidiasis is a fungal condition caused by the overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans in the mouth, particularly on the tongue. As a result, you can experience burning, redness, and dry mouth.

A brilliant way to combat oral thrush is by restricting sugars and carbs in the diet as they can feed the candida yeast. High-quality probiotics have also been used to prevent or reverse oral thrush. 

Lab research shows that probiotics with lactobacillus can stop candida from forming a biofilm in the mouth.

Another study reported that oral thrush symptoms were significantly reduced with the use of Streptococcus salivarius K12 supplements for only 30 days. They also found that this strain was able to improve other oral health issues like inflammation of oral tissue caused by denture use.

Some of the best anti-oral thrush probiotics to take are:

  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Streptococcus salivarius K12

For Tonsillitis and other respiratory infections

Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils, the two oval tissues at the back of your throat. 

A study conducted in 2020 found that when given for 30 days, oral probiotics reduced the symptoms of recurrent tonsillitis. Additionally, it also resulted in a marked improvement of the microbiome in the upper respiratory tract.

The best probiotic for tonsillitis is:

  • Streptococcus salivarius K12.

Respiratory infections are infections caused by viruses or bacteria. Common examples include the common cold, sinusitis, strep throat, and bronchitis. Oral probiotics have been reported to improve upper respiratory health as well as oral infections.

Best known probiotics for respiratory infections are:

  • Streptococcus salivarius K12
  • Streptococcus salivarius M18
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Lactobacillus paracasei
  • Lactobacillus sakei
  • Lactobacillus gasseri

What dosage of probiotics should I take for my dental health?

The right dose for oral probiotics varies from person to person. It is best to talk to your dentist to find the best one at the right dosages for you.

How long should I take oral health probiotics?

Depending on the severity of the imbalance of your oral microbiome, probiotics can begin in less than a week. However, most experts suggest that you take them for at least 2 to 3 months for best results.

What are the possible side effects of oral care probiotics?

Although they are extremely safe for human use, dental probiotics may cause mild side effects. Common side effects of probiotics include stomach upset and bloating. 

Immunocompromised individuals such as those with HIV/AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease, or cancer should always talk to their doctor before starting any probiotic regimen.

Contact your dental professional

Oral probiotics keep your mouth feeling fresh while also giving you healthier teeth and gums. When taken at the right dosage, they can transform your oral health.

Contact your dentist to help you decide which probiotics to buy. Buy oral probiotics like BLIS K12 and M18 if you’re looking for oral probiotics for mouth bad breath treatment. 

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