Are probiotics good for your mouth?

October 12, 2021

Probiotics are live microbes that are known to confer health benefits. Probiotics benefit us in various ways 

  • boosting the health of the gut microbiome
  • restoring balance to the microbiome 
  • supporting the immune system

Probiotics for oral health help maintain the balance of the oral microbiome, especially when proper oral hygiene is maintained. Poor hygiene practices can lead to the growth of bad bacteria to such an extent that it can cause oral infections.  Oral probiotics help prevent cavities, bad breath and various other oral diseases while combating the development of oral pathogens. 

Why should you consider oral probiotics? 
The growth of pathogenic bacteria in your mouth can cause significant oral health problems that can get difficult to treat. Consuming oral probiotics for dental health can help eliminate and prevent the effects of these pathogens, promoting overall oral health. 
Probiotics have been clinically proven to improve the balance of good bacteria, restore oral flora and get rid of bad breath in the oral cavity. In addition, oral probiotics can also turn out to be beneficial in the following cases: 

  • Prevent cavity and plaque
    There are approximately 700 different types of bacteria present in the mouth of a human being, and an imbalance in some of them can cause plaque/cavity. For example, one bacterium that causes cavities is Streptococcus mutans.

    When you consume probiotic supplements, they stop Streptococcus mutans from turning sugar into lactic acid, which is the leading cause of plaque/cavity. Thus, promoting a healthy oral environment. 


  • Prevent oral cancer 
    Cancer is one of the leading causes of death all across the world.
    Research and studies show that probiotics containing Lactobacillus salivarius strain can hinder the development of oral carcinogenesis and prevent cancer.


  • Manage inflammation of gums
    Immune imbalance leads to the bleeding of gums when you brush your teeth. It is considered the initial stage of gum disease like gingivitis. It is crucial to treat the inflammation of gums before it gets severe. 
    Diseases like gingivitis make the gum sensitive, tender and swollen. 
    By consuming the accurate amount of probiotics containing Lactobacillus reuteri, you can ease the symptoms of such gum diseases and improve the oral environment.  
    Probiotics restore the oral flora, balance your gut microbiome and help stop the development of gum diseases. 


  • Prevents overgrowth of Candida
    Candidiasis or oral thrush is a form of fungal infection that causes sore, red and sometimes white lesions in the mouth. A fungal infection is usually a sign of imbalance in the oral microbiome. 
    Oral probiotics help cure oral thrush by restoring that balance. 
    These were a few of the many reasons why you should consume probiotics for oral health
    There are certain things like strains and forms of supplementation that differentiates dental probiotics from conventional ones. Understanding these differences will help you understand why you should consult a doctor before you start consuming probiotics. 


Difference between traditional probiotics and dental probiotics

When you hear the term probiotics, cheese and yoghurt are two of the most common probiotic foods that strike the mind. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two of the most commonly heard probiotic strains. These both help ensure digestive function and keep the balance of the gut microbiome in check. 
However, oral probiotics are completely different from these conventional supplements or strains. 
The best probiotic for oral health is the one that contains Streptococcus salivarius strains. These probiotic strains have been  proven to be effective in maintaining oral health. Streptococcus salivarius is a probiotic of choice to fight bad breath. 
Probiotic gummies, chewables/lozenges, and sachets (mouthwash) help to bypass the stomach acid and deliver the beneficial bacteria to the area where they are needed.


Conclusion 

Oral probiotics not only help combat bad breath but also prevents gum diseases, cavities and oral thrush. Additionally, studies have also shown probiotics to be a useful source to help prevent oral cancer.