Do Probiotics Promote Better Oral Health?

ProbioticsRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Probiotics and their effect on the human microbiome have been the topic of many discussions among doctors and in medical studies. The more we understand about these microorganisms, the better we can improve our health. Similar to microbiomes inside of our bodies, like the gut, our mouths contain millions of bacteria as well. The most common oral bacteria that you hear about is the kind that causes tooth decay and gum disease. But recent studies show there are other oral microbiota that we should focus on so that we can better understand their role in the microbial community. You’ve probably heard about the benefits of taking a probiotic and its effect on gut health and the rest of the body. So, today on the blog, find out if probiotics promote better oral health.

What’s the importance of our oral microbiome?

There are trillions of non-human microorganisms that make up the human body. Our oral cavity is the second largest microbiome in the human body, and it directly affects our gut and gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, our mouths deserve a lot more attention than they get! Unfortunately, certain medications, stress, environmental factors, and what we eat directly affect our oral microbiome, which can increase your risk of cavities and gum disease, the most prevalent chronic diseases in our country. According to studies, more than 1 in 4 adults have untreated cavities, as opposed to 1 in 5 children between the ages of 5 to 11 who have at least one cavity that is untreated. And a staggering half of adults over age 30 have some form of gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in the U.S.

Why are oral bacteria necessary for better oral health?

Oral probiotics could help reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease if brushing and flossing don’t seem to be enough for you. Some studies prove that specific strains of bacteria help restore the oral microbiome. These strains include Streptococcus salivarius M18, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Lactobacillus paracasei. If taken regularly, healthy bacteria colonize, limiting the growth of toxic bacteria in the mouth. The Lactobacillus bacteria is also found in the intestinal tract, which can help reduce harmful bacteria, even in saliva. Not only do probiotics help improve gut function, which impacts the immune system, but also promote better oral health.

What kind of probiotics do I need for my oral health?

Most probiotics that you’ve probably seen on the market are ones that you swallow, which means that those won’t affect your oral health but target your gut instead. However, for probiotics to target your oral health, you’d need to take one that dissolves slowly in the mouth or that can be applied directly to your teeth and gums. There are many of these probiotics available on the market, but if you’d like some advice on which one is right for you, please speak with Dr. Hartrick or one of our knowledgeable dental hygienists at your next cleaning appointment.

Family Dentist in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Dr. Hartrick offers dental services to patients of all ages. Part of our services includes educating our patients on products and steps that can help improve their oral health and reduce their risk of oral diseases. Probiotics may make a difference for you. If you’d like to learn more or schedule a consultation, please call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950.

Posted in Oral Health