We know about the gut-health benefits of probiotics, but now studies show the “friendly bacteria” can be an effective and natural way to fight gum disease, plaque buildup and bad breath!
What Has Research Found?
A study published in the Swedish Dental Journal discovered a probiotic that reduced gum bleeding in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis. The cavity-fighting effects of probiotics were also seen in an investigation published in Caries Research, which found the use of a mouthrinse containing the friendly bacteria reduced the formation of dental plaque by 20 percent.
Other studies show probiotics can inhibit bacteria that produce sulfur compounds, the odorous substances that cause bad breath. Probiotics may even help prevent oral cancer, according to Cancer Prevention Research.
How Do Probiotics Work?
Probiotics work by targeting the culprits responsible for your family’s most common oral health issues: infection-producing microbes, also called pathogens. A study in the Journal of Oral Microbiology describes how probiotics prevent pathogens from getting a foothold through multiple means. Specifically, the friendly bacteria boost your immune system and hinder pathogens from binding to your body’s tissues. Probiotics can also kill or curtail the growth of pathogens by producing agents that make it harder for them to live and thrive. The Journal of Indian Society Periodontology reports probiotics also have properties that reduce inflammation, a benefit that curtails the harmful effects of pathogens. In addition, they can stimulate bone formation, which helps repair the bone that deteriorates from advanced forms of gum disease.
Dairy sources of probiotic foods include:
- cultured cottage cheese
Non-dairy sources include fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and a fermented tea called kombucha. Prebiotic foods include raw Jerusalem artichokes, raw hickory root, raw oats, unrefined barley and unrefined wheat.
Probiotics for oral health is just one of many associations between the food we eat and disease prevention. However, the best way to ensure healthy teeth and gums is to practice smart oral hygiene, like regular brushing and flossing as well as visiting the dentist at least twice a year.
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THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures, complete dental reconstruction and TMJ/Headache management. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.