Probiotics and Oral Health

You may be asking, “Why is a dental office writing about probiotics?” It turns out that probiotics may have the following benefits to your oral health and overall health:

  • Displace plaque forming bacteria
  • Anti-carcinogenic effects
  • Reduction of inflammation
  • Reduce halitosis
  • Reduction of respiratory infections
  • Lower serum cholesterol level
  • Improve immune function
  • Lactose intolerant individuals tolerate more lactose

While research is continually developing on this topic, we recommend taking probiotics for the reasons mentioned above. There are many questions regarding what species of bacteria are important, what kind of communities are best for oral health and how to best stimulate and maintain a healthy community.

Bacteira close upThere is however, a general rule that is currently agreed upon. The more diverse the bacterial community in your stomach and intestines, the more robust your immune system will be. Also, as pertains to oral health, certain probiotic bacteria have been shown to compete for space on the enamel of your teeth with bacteria that cause dental disease and decay. The probiotics that are beneficial can be found in many foods and products. Using probiotic bacteria to out-compete disease causing bacteria is a strategy that we support.

Foods such as probiotic yogurts, kefirs, kombucha, miso and tempeh found at your local health food store contain probiotic bacteria. Furthermore, probiotic bacteria thrive on certain foods such as onions, tomatoes, bananas, honey, barley, garlic and wheat. These foods are called “prebiotics.” Using both prebiotics and probiotics together may support a more healthy bacterial environment leading to a more robust immune system.

Visit this in-depth study of the effect of certain probiotics on oral health. For a fascinating read on the developing research into the human relation to bacteria, please see this article.

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