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Can Probiotics Prevent Periodontal Problems?

June 5, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drprather @ 4:16 pm
Bird's eye view of several kinds of probiotics on a neutral surface

If you’ve ever suffered from digestive issues, you may have tried taking probiotics to alleviate any issues or discomfort. These “good bacteria” are found naturally in the body, and it’s crucial to maintain a healthy balance. If you don’t have enough, you could develop a suppressed immune system, irregular bowel movements, and even oral issues like gum disease.

Continue reading to learn more about how probiotics can keep your mouth in good condition and how you can increase your levels!

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease occurs when bacteria in your mouth cling to the surface of your teeth along your gumline. This forms harmful plaque residue that penetrates beneath the surface and causes an infection that starts slowly and gets progressively worse. Gingivitis is the earliest stage and can often be reversed by brushing and flossing more diligently at home. If it’s left untreated, however, it can evolve into periodontitis, which can cause receding gumlines and, eventually, tooth loss.

Advanced periodontal problems cannot be cured, only managed, so it’s important to take proper preventative measures to keep them from developing in the first place.

How Do Probiotics Impact Gum Disease?

Last year, the National Library of Medicine published a study that tested how taking a daily probiotic impacted adults who had confirmed symptoms of gingivitis. Half the participants (the control group) unknowingly received a placebo, while the other half were given a probiotic lozenge. After 8 weeks, the prevalence of plaque and other markers of gum health were measured.

It was discovered that those taking the probiotic had lower instances of gingivitis. They had fewer instances of bleeding during gum probing and had less inflammation than those who had been given a placebo over the course of the experiment.

Consequently, it was concluded that probiotics can help you manage your dental well-being, in addition to other medical benefits like weight and digestion management.

What Probiotics Should I Take?

Many types of probiotics are commercially available, so it can be hard to pick one that will work for you. If you’re unsure what direction to take, your dentist is a great place to start. They can offer recommendations based on their understanding of your unique dental health.

Otherwise, you might try to find one of the following options that researchers have found to be particularly helpful for your oral status. These are often available as lozenges or supplements at your local store or pharmacy:

  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Lactobacillus salivarius
  • Streptococcus salivarius K12
  • Streptococcus salivarius M18

Although you’ll still need to brush and floss twice daily to remove harmful plaque residue, adding a daily probiotic to your routine can better help you prevent gum disease!

About the Author

Dr. James Kirby has more than 15 years of experience helping people of all ages improve their oral health. He earned his undergraduate degree from Lipscomb University and then graduated from dental school at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. Now, he provides a wide range of services to meet your family’s dental needs all under one roof, including gum disease therapy. He takes the time to get to know his patients so that if a problem arises, he can quickly create fully individualized treatment plans to address it. If you’re concerned about gingivitis, you can request an appointment on the website or by calling (615) 327-2123.

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