Scientific evidence suggests that probiotics may play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy smile. Results from a recent study provide strong evidence that probiotics can decrease the risk of carries, protect against oral disease and improve overall oral health (2). These results, along with other research, offer a new approach to the future of oral health care.
The study gathered one hundred different types of naturally occurring bacteria found in a selected group of 10 year olds. Of the hundred different bacteria, forty-six strains were isolated and found to thrive in the mouth, have a high ability to fight pathogens with no unwanted side affects, and adhere well to oral tissue. Strains already known to survive well in the mouth were compared to the forty-six isolated bacteria and results showed no significant difference in ability to thrive (P=0.81). The isolated bacteria were additionally exposed to certain oral cells and pig tongue and were found to adhere better to oral tissues than detrimental or potentially harmful oral bacteria (P<0.001). Finally, the isolated strains were placed in environments saturated with oral bacteria that is known to be damaging or disease prone. Results showed that several of the isolated strains had an ability to fight or stop growth of these unwanted bacteria. After all the tests were performed, seven bacteria were concluded to be the best probiotics to decrease the risk of cavities, fight disease, and improve oral health.
This study gives promising results and appears to be performed in a professional and trustworthy manner. It should be noted that the number of subjects from which samples were procured was not included. Also, the genus of the bacteria found to be probiotic was given but not the species. However, ample tests and statistics were performed giving solid evidence to their conclusion.
Amongst other studies, the results found here do coincide. For example, a study on the daily consumption of yogurt containing probiotics similar to those in the above-mentioned study, shows a significant improvement in oral health (3). Another study examining cheese containing probiotics, found a decrease in the risk of carries (1). Finally, one study, exploring new technology in the field of oral probiotics, discovered that daily consumption of probiotics not only prevented the risk of disease but also promoted good oral health (4).
Results from many studies leave little reason to doubt that there is a positive correlation between probiotics and a healthy smile. Overall this particular study was a beneficial and constructive step towards reducing cavities, fighting oral disease, and encouraging good oral wellbeing. As more and more evidence is found in this area of oral health care, it would be wise to implement probiotics in any diet. Foods in which you can often find probiotics include yogurt, sauerkraut, or even dark chocolate. In reality, consuming foods high in probiotics, such as those in the Lactobacillus or Lactococcus families, may keep you from having to visit the dentist.
Link to article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2011.10.006
1. Ahola A, Yli-Knuuttila H, Korpela R, et al. Short-term consumption of probiotic-containing cheese and its effect on dental caries risk factors. Archives Of Oral Biology [serial online]. November 2002;47(11):799. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 19, 2014.
2. Bosch M, Nart J, Cuñé J, et al. Isolation and characterization of probiotic strains for improving oral health. Archives Of Oral Biology [serial online]. May 2012;57(5):539-549. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. AccessedFebruary 19, 2014.
3. Ferrazzano G, Cantile T, Sangianantoni G, Amato I, Ingenito A. The effects of short-term consumption of commercial yogurt on salivary mutans streptococci and lactobacilli counts: an in vivo investigation. European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition [serial online]. October 2011;65(10):1170-1172. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 19, 2014.
4. Heinemann R, Carvalho R, Favaro-Trindade C. Orally disintegrating film (ODF) for delivery of probiotics in the oral cavity — Development of a novel product for oral health. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies [serial online]. July 2013;19:227-232. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 19, 2014.
Reviewed by Viktoriya Wolff