According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as many as half of all adults may have some level of periodontal disease. That is a lot of people suffering from what is arguably the most serious chronic oral health condition in the country today – and most don’t even realize they have it!
What does this have to do with oral-probiotics, you might be wondering? A new study suggests that there is a direct inverse link between the two – read on to find out more!
What Is Periodontal Disease?
If you are not completely clear about what periodontal disease is, that is totally normal. Periodontal disease is the later stage of gingivitis, which causes an initial swelling of the gum tissue. Adversely affecting oral health.
Once that inflammation progresses to infection, the diagnosis shifts from gingivitis to periodontal disease, which can eventually impact gum tissue, teeth, and the underlying supportive jawbone.
What Are Oral-Probiotics?
The term “oral probiotics” generally refers to a number of supplements that add back “good” bacteria (i.e. “pro”-biotics) or yeasts to your body. Both over-the-counter (non-prescription) and prescription-only probiotic supplements exist.
Probiotic supplements come in a variety of forms, including capsule, chewable, gummies, liquid and more. Probiotics can also be found in some foods. This is especially the case in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, miso, kimchi, kombucha, and others.
Different probiotic supplements may contain different “good” bacteria or yeast strains to target improved health in different areas of the body.
As the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) points out, the strains that are most commonly found in today’s probiotic supplements include the bacterium Lactobacillus, the bacterium Bifidobacterium and the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii.
One source of ongoing confusion for many people is the very similar sounding supplement called “prebiotics.” Pre-biotics and pro-biotics are not the same. The former adds an extra source of beneficial insoluble dietary fiber that can help regulate gut function and elimination, while the latter supports improved immune function and overall systemic health.
Both prebiotics and probiotics can make a helpful addition for children and adults but they are typically recommended for different health purposes. Talk with Dr. Schulhof to determine the best pre-biotic and pro-biotic supplements for you and your family.
How Can Oral Probiotics Support Healthy Teeth?
There is a thriving community of microbes living right inside your mouth at this very moment. Researchers call this the “oral microbiome,” and it is vitally important to protect the health of your gums, teeth, mouth tissues and jawbone.
Just like the thriving microbiome in your gut, the microbiome in your mouth can fall out of balance for a variety of reasons, including infection, illness, food poisoning and other causes. When this imbalance occurs, it is called “dysbiosis.”
When dysbiosis happens in your stomach, you may get a belly ache or worse. When it happens in your mouth, you often see the start of cavities, gingivitis or periodontal disease.
Oral-probiotics protect the delicate oral microbiome by sending in reinforcements in the form of “good” bacteria. Several exciting research studies have highlighted just how effective this strategy is for keeping your oral microbiome in tip-top shape to fight off bacteria and other threats.
Oral probiotics aid teeth health in these and other ways:
- Reduce gum bleeding.
- Reduce the incidence of gingivitis.
- Reduce bacteria that leads to dental caries.
- Boost the immune system.
- Reduce dental plaques by up to 20 percent!
- Reduce the incidence of halitosis (bad breath.)
- Reduce inflammation in the oral cavity.
- Help promote the growth of new bone and repair damaged bone.
How to Choose the Right Probiotic for Teeth Health Benefits
For the newcomer, the world of probiotic supplements can be quite confusing at first! There are special formulas for men and women. There are probiotics to improve gut health, women’s health, men’s health, colon health, gut health and, of course, dental health.
The best way to choose the right oral probiotic is to talk with Dr. Schulhof to identify the right blend of probiotic bacteria for your specific health needs. He may recommend a different probiotic supplement based on age, gender, emerging health issues, and other factors.
As well, there may be benefits to taking a particular formula, such as capsule, gummy or liquid. Children, tweens and teens often enjoy chewable or gummy probiotics which can be quite tasty! Adults tend to prefer a liquid or capsule probiotic.
There are also mouthwash formulas now that contains beneficial probiotics. This is a great way to add probiotics to your daily oral health regimen.
When to Take Probiotics for Best Results
It is important to take your oral probiotics at the right time to experience full benefits. Always read the manufacturer dosing instructions and start with the lowest recommended dose. This way, you can see how your body reacts and adjust as needed.
Taking probiotics with a light meal may help the good bacteria survive the strong gut bacteria in your stomach. However, avoid taking your probiotics with a heavy meal. Gummies, chewable probiotics, and mouthwashes that contain probiotics help to bypass the stomach acid issue altogether and deliver the beneficial bacteria and/or yeasts right to the area where they are needed.
A FREE Consultation
Talk with Dr. Schulhof about the best time to add probiotics to your daily oral health regimen. Dr. Adam Schulhof, D.M.D., is the founder and medical director for the Schulhof Center and KinderSmiles in New York City and New Jersey.
Dr. Schulhof received his specialty education and training from the prestigious Columbia University and is now the top provider for the cutting-edge Incognito system worldwide. His all-inclusive family practice includes specialization in emerging orthodontic issues in the very young.
He uses the latest in digital technology to support proper tooth, bite and jaw development at every stage. To learn more and schedule your consultation for yourself or your child.
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