Probiotics and Oral Health
You have likely heard that probiotics, beneficial bacterial strains, can do wonders for the digestive and immune system. Taken in pill form or consumed through cultured foods and drinks, these good bacteria work to restore intestinal flora and help protect the body against many different illnesses. Turns out, they work to protect and enhance oral health as well.
Dental plaque, the precursor to tooth decay, contains over 600 microorganisms. Some of these are slightly beneficial. Other, such as mutans streptococci, are known to hasten the erosion of enamel and contribute significantly to decay. Several studies have found that the probiotic strains lactobacilli and bifidobacteria reduce the number of mutans streptococci and other harmful oral bacteria – in turn helping reduce the risk of cavities.
As if fighting cavity causing bacteria wasn’t enough, some probiotic strains have also shown to help prevent gum disease and even treat its most advanced form – chronic periodontitis. Some recent studies have found various probiotics to be as effective as antibiotics in treating bacterial infection of the gums and, some studies suggest a daily probiotic pill will even assist in the complete prevention of gum disease. Of course, probiotics are a poor stand-in for a solid oral hygiene routine, but their use as a supplement for optimal oral health should not be overlooked.
In the end, integrating probiotics into your diet will work like all other consciously healthy decisions to assist in peak oral and systemic health. Combined with biannual visits with our Mason, Ohio dentists for cleanings and examinations and these good bacteria may play an important role in maintaining a healthy and strong smile.
If you are overdue for a dental exam, please contact Hardin Advanced Dentistry to schedule an appointment today. We serve the Greater Cincinnati area from our convenient Mason location.