Do Dental Health Probiotics Really Work? Everything You Need to Know

Probiotics are living cultures that have been the subject of growing medical and consumer interest in terms of their ability to help people remedy a variety of ailments. Most people associate probiotics with gut health, which makes sense as the gut is one of the most important microbiome in the human body.

Now, probiotics for dental health are a trend with growing interest for both consumers and dentists. The human mouth contains its own microbiome with healthy bacteria that perform a variety of functions when it comes to digestion and keeping your teeth and gums healthy. How much can probiotics do to help your dental health, and are they worth investing in?

What are dental health probiotics?

Dental health probiotics are simply probiotics designed to target dental concerns. Probiotics come in a variety of strains, which may have different health effects when consumed. Some probiotics are specifically packaged together to target certain health concerns, such as vaginal health or gut health.

However, you don't need to buy specialty products to try out probiotics. Eating fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kim chi, sauerkraut or drinking kombucha are all easy ways to try out probiotics as part of your diet. These products can be easier to get and more affordable to test out than probiotic supplements, but they may not contain as much variety or quantity in probiotic strains.

What dental probiotics can do

Dental probiotics do seem to have good results in early research.

In a survey on Uses of Probiotics and Oral Health in Current Oral Health Reports Quarterly, Robert Allaker and Abish Stephen examined the documented results of different probiotic strains when used to control different dental diseases, tooth decay and bad breath.

When combined with traditional treatment plans, dental health probiotics were found to help control all of the conditions and were able to help rebalance the microbiome in the mouth. However, that obviously doesn't mean you can trade in your dental insurance and toothbrush for a daily yogurt.

The limits of dental probiotics

Dental probiotics have only been shown to be effective when used with traditional dental treatment, and aren't being proposed by any dentists as a replacement for the regular day-to-day processes of keeping your teeth healthy — brushing, flossing, and routine check-ups and cleanings.

Further research is needed on how effective probiotics truly are for different dental concerns, and how to make them most effective for the oral microbiome in particular. For example, it seems as though much of the positive impact of probiotics on dental health will go away shortly after the patient stops taking the probiotics. That leaves the possibility that certain strains or different implementations of probiotics may help them make a more long-term impact on dental health, but as it stands their power is limited.

The bottom line? There's no harm in taking a daily probiotic, whether that means a side of kim chi or a dedicated supplement, and there's some evidence it can help with pesky dental health problems like tooth decay and bad breath — at least, while you're using them. But it shouldn't replace your dental checkup anytime soon.

Source: iQuanti, Inc.

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Categories: Healthcare Insurance

Tags: Dental Insurance, Dental Probiotics, Dentist, Healthcare