In the past decade, researchers have conducted studies on the possible application of probiotics in oral health. The use of these living microbes can promote digestive health, but recent studies show that they could help protect your teeth and gums as well.
Promoting Gum Health
One of the most widespread problems in dental health aside from cavities is gum disease. A study published in March 2015 found that certain probiotics could potentially help reduce gum disease symptoms. The study focused on the probiotic Lactobacillus Reuteri and its impact on periodontal disease. Researchers tested 2 groups of participants with chronic periodontitis. One group, the test group, received probiotic lozenges over the course of one year while the control group received a placebo. Both groups also received root planing and scaling treatments to help manage the progression of the disease.
After 21, 90, 180, and 360 days respectively, researchers assessed and recorded gingival health. The test group showed consistent improvement in gum health. Members of the test group also showed better and faster gum reattachment following therapy.
Saving Your Implants
Another study, published in February 2015, found that the same probiotic, Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis, seems to affect the development of peri-implantitis. The study involved 34 patients with implants, 22 of whom showed good dental implant health while 12 showed signs of peri-mucositis. Peri-mucositis is characterized by swelling, tenderness, or bleeding of the soft tissue around an implant. This condition can develop into peri-implantitis, a disease that destroys gum and bone tissue and can result in the loss of the implant.
Participants took probiotic tablets every 24 hours for 30 days. At the end of the trial, researchers assessed their gum health. The people who showed signs of peri-mucositis experienced a significant reduction in symptoms. Those who previously displayed no symptoms also showed an increase in gum health. The study followed up 6 months later with a placebo period of 30 days during which no improvement occurred.
Protecting Your Oral Health
Despite the success of these studies, research on the oral application of probiotics is currently limited. Only a handful of older research on this topic currently exists, with few follow-up studies. These recent studies do not prove that probiotics can effectively manage oral health problems, but their promising results lay more groundwork for new studies. Future studies will confirm whether or not these probiotic organisms can help protect your oral health. In the mean time, you can preserve your oral health with regular dental hygiene.
Plaque buildup causes gingivitis, characterized by gum inflammation, tenderness, and bleeding. Left untreated, gingivitis develops into periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. This irreversible condition causes tooth pain, and can progress to loss of jawbone, resulting in tooth loss. Periodontal disease has also been linked to other medical conditions like heart disease. Gum therapy can slow the progress of gum disease and protect your teeth, jawbone, and physical health.
Dental implants also require regular care to prevent the development of peri-implant disease. As with periodontal disease, peri-implant disease causes gum inflammation and bone destruction that results in the loss of your implant. Two dental cleanings a year can remove hardened plaque below the gum line and protect your health.
To learn more about preventing gum disease, or to schedule a cleaning, please call (407) 834-6446 to set up an appointment with Orlando dentist, Dr. Michael L. Weinstock today.