When we think about oral health, brushing, and flossing are usually the first things that come to mind. However, a new player on the block could revolutionize the way we think about dental hygiene: probiotics.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed adequately. Traditionally, they have been used to promote gut health, but recent research suggests they may also benefit oral health.
This article will discuss the potential benefits of dental probiotics and how they could change how we approach oral health.
The oral microbiome
The oral microbiome is the complex community of microorganisms that live in our mouths. It includes bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes, all of which play important roles in oral health.
The oral microbiome is a delicate balance, and disruptions to this balance can lead to oral diseases such as cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Factors that can disrupt the oral microbiome include poor oral hygiene, a high-sugar diet, and antibiotics.
How probiotics could improve oral health
Probiotics have been shown to have several potential benefits for oral health. Here are just a few of how probiotics could improve dental hygiene:
Balancing the oral microbiome
One of the primary ways probiotics could improve oral health is by balancing the oral microbiome. Probiotics can help crowd out harmful bacteria in the mouth, leading to a healthier balance of microorganisms.
Inflammation is a key factor in many oral diseases, including gum disease. Probiotics have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which could help to reduce the risk of gum disease and other oral health issues.
Certain strains of bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans, are known to contribute to the development of cavities. Probiotics could help to prevent cavities by crowding out these harmful bacteria and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.
The overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth often causes bad breath. Probiotics can freshen your breath by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and reducing the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Choosing the right probiotics for oral health
If you’re interested in incorporating probiotics into your dental hygiene routine, choosing the right strains of bacteria is important. Here are a few of the strains that are beneficial for oral health:
Lactobacillus reuteri is a strain of bacteria shown to have antimicrobial properties. It reduces the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth, which could help to prevent cavities and gum disease.
Streptococcus salivarius is a strain of bacteria naturally found in the mouth. It has been shown to have antibacterial properties and may help prevent harmful bacteria growth.
Bifidobacterium lactis is a strain of bacteria shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. It may reduce inflammation in the gums and prevent gum disease.
Dental probiotics could represent a new era of oral health, providing a natural and effective way to promote a healthy balance of microorganisms in the mouth. By incorporating probiotics into your dental hygiene routine, you could reduce your risk of oral diseases such as cavities and gum disease, freshen your breath and promote overall oral health.