Research is showing the positive connection between oral probiotics and improved dental health. This may be the missing link for those dental patients doing everything right but still experiencing negative outcomes. As a dental hygienist, I would like to inform you of the best probiotic for dental health.
Recently, oral probiotics (those designed specifically for the mouth, not the gut) have been shown to work against bacteria in the mouth. Included in the possible outcomes are: less decay, reduction and prevention of bad breath, improved gum health and less incidence of upper respiratory illness.
Not all probiotics designed for oral health are created equal. In fact there is a slew of products coming out that may do nothing more than empty your pocket book. It is important that you understand which bacterial strains are beneficial to the oral cavity and how these particular strains work.
How Do Oral Probiotics Work?
The ecosystem in our bodies maintains health by balancing a combination of good and bad bacteria. The bad bacteria in our mouths is responsible for plaque, tartar, cavities and inflammation. When inflammation is present, our body’s defense is to stop this from happening. This is where conditions such as gingivitis and periodontal disease become an issue.
When oral probiotics are administered, helpful strains of bacteria are introduced to the oral cavity. These good bacteria will work to fight off and crowd out the harmful bacteria leading to a disruption of bacterial colonization. This has a beneficial outcome in preventing tooth erosion that leads to cavities.
In case you are confused about the difference between oral probiotics and gut probiotics, I would like to clear a few things up. The major difference is the method of delivery and the strains of bacteria included in each. Probiotics for the gut contain bacterial strains that live in your gut. Oral probiotics contain bacterial strains that specifically benefit the mouth.
Gut probiotics are swallowed in a capsule form designed to withstand the high pH they will encounter in the digestive tract. Oral probiotics on the other hand come in a lozenge form that is designed to slowly dissolve in the mouth or can be chewed. This way, the beneficial bacteria remain in direct contact with the oral cavity.
Most Beneficial Strains for Dental Health
Throughout our lifetime, and for some, on a daily basis, our beneficial bacteria is in jeopardy. Use of antibiotics will destroy both the good and the bad bacteria in the mouth. This is also true for regular use of antimicrobial mouthwashes. You see, contrary to belief, it is not a good idea to attempt to remove all the bacteria from the mouth. We actually need a careful balance of both good and bad bacteria in our mouth at all times to maintain oral health! This careful balance is what is referred to as the oral microbiome. Scientists have researched and discovered the most beneficial bacteria strains targeted specifically for the oral microbiome in our mouths:
- Streptococcus Salivarius K12
- Streptococcus Salivarius M18
- Lactobacillus Sakei
- Lactobacillus Reuteri
- Lactobacillus Paracasei
According to an article “How Do Dental Probiotics Work? (And Why You Need Them)” these are the benefits of each of these ingredients:
- Lactobacillus Salivarius K12. This strain produces the effective proteins known as BLIS which stands for bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances. BLIS consists of Salivaricin A and Salivaricin B. Without BLIS, bacterial balance may shift to a microbiome capable of producing bad breath, decay and upper respiratory infections. This strain has been shown to increase the immune system.
- Lactobacillus Salivarius M18. This strain is also part of the uniquely patented BLIS formula which has been shown to prevent cavities and eliminate plaque. It is naturally most commonly present in saliva. How it works is by creating a substance that neutralizes acids from enzymes in saliva. L Salivarius M18 can prevent gum disease, inflammation, plaque, biofilm and decay.
- Lactobacillus Sakei. This bacterial strain may help prevent sinusitis as it has been linked to healthy sinuses.
- Lactobacillus Reuteri. This ingredient may boost the immune system and is responsible for improving digestive health by colonizing the gastrointestinal tract and oral cavity with a pathogen inhibiting substance.
- Lactobacillus Paracasei. This strain has been shown in studies to inhibit Streptococcus Mutans. This is the bacteria responsible for causing bad breath and cavities. Lactobacillus Paracasei is also used in supplements to improve immune function.
Why Worry About the Microbiome?
According to Wikipedia, “The microbiome is defined as a characteristic microbial community occupying a reasonably well-defined habitat which has distinct physio-chemical properties. The microbiome not only refers to the microorganisms involved but also encompass their theatre of activity.”
The oral cavity is the gateway to overall health. We now know that the bacteria in the mouth show correlation with many systemic diseases. Some of these conditions include but are not limited to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. The bacteria found in the mouth inevitably enters the bloodstream and travels throughout your body.
This is why it is important to maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria (your microbiome) in your mouth. Improving your dental health and doing your best to keep the mouth healthy plays a significant part in your general overall health.
The good bacteria in oral probiotics support the health of your teeth and gums by creating new biofilms that replace the biofilms created by harmful bacteria. Dental probiotics also work by:
- Preventing undesirable bacteria from attaching to the teeth
- Changing the pH of the mouth making it less hospitable for decay causing bacteria
- Creating antibacterial compounds to help fight bacteria that cause decay
- Improving the immunity of the mouth
- Improving remineralization of teeth by changing the quality of saliva
- Crowding out the bacteria that give of smelly gases called volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that cause bad breath
- Replenishing your microbiome with targeted probiotics to repopulate the balance of good bacteria
- Improving upper respiratory and oral health
Learn more about the unique way dental oral probiotics specifically help to reduce and eliminate bad breath.
What’s the Best Probiotic for Dental Health?
With the ongoing science and research behind the benefits of oral probiotics, many new products are emerging on the market. So many of these products do not have the right combination of probiotic strains. It is important to have the right combination of bacterial strains and in the right amount.
As a dental professional, there are only two products I can recommend that have all the qualities of an effective oral probiotic. The first being PRO-Dental from Hyperbiotics. This product has 3 billion CFUs of all the strains mentioned above. It is combined with an excellent bioavailable form of zinc. Zinc is important for its crucial role in supporting the formation of bones, teeth and connective tissues.
You can learn more about the benefits of PRO-Dental oral probiotics and their role in oral health, especially in the treatment and prevention of decay and bad breath. The formula for this product is appropriate for most people because it is non-GMO, vegetarian, and contains no: gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, sugar, yeast or artificial colors, preservatives or flavors.
What also makes PRO-Dental one of the best probiotics for dental health is the fact that it is produced with the patented LiveBac technology which requires no refrigeration and extends its shelf life. Many other products are not useful because their organisms will die soon after they are manufactured. PRO-Dental is made in the USA in a top manufacturing oral probiotic facility that guarantees the quality of their strains.
The second oral probiotic that comes highly recommended by dental professionals is Advanced Oral Probiotics by Great Oral Health. What makes this product great is the same fact that it contains all the necessary strains outlined above but in the amount of 6 billion CFUs with the addition of Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Streptococcus Salivarius and Lactobacillus Thermophilus. With more strains of beneficial bacteria comes a more diverse approach to promoting oral health.
Great Oral Health Advanced Oral Probiotics is a product that was developed by Dr. Paul O’Malley, DDS who is a top holistic dentist. He has created this all natural product and it is produced in the USA according to the highest standards of probiotic manufacturing. These oral probiotics come with a 100% money back guarantee and also have an extended shelf life with no refrigeration needed.
Could Oral Probiotics be the Missing Link to Dental Health?
Research and science is very promising for the future of your dental health. Many dental problems are created by the buildup of undesirable bacteria in your mouth. Adding beneficial bacteria with oral probiotics can reduce the amount of harmful bacteria and restore good bacteria.
Clinical studies have shown the benefits of certain probiotic bacteria strains, like the ones in PRO-Dental oral probiotics and Great Oral Health Advanced oral probiotics. These benefits include treating and preventing problems associated with bacteria in the oral cavity. Among these problems are gum disease, cavities and bad breath. They may also boost your immune system and help reduce ear, nose and throat infections.
This may be the missing link to dental health we have been waiting for! I know you will be amazed at the results and look forward to hearing your positive experiences. Please leave your comments and any questions below and I would be happy to help!
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