The case for probiotics has been made. They are wonderful for gut health, brain health, and improved immunity. These beneficial bugs can be taken to help support Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and autoimmune diseases including lupus. Because there is such an interest in probiotics and the role they play in our bodies, many health disciplines are looking to see where they fit in. Research is emerging that probiotics can support a healthy oral hygiene environment, so how and where do probiotics fit in to your dental care routine?
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that exist in your body, and as a collective they are referred to as the microbiome. The microbiome consists of all different strains of probiotics, in different, colonizing amounts. Common strains of probiotics include lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Health and wellness are present when both the good bacteria and bad bacteria in our bodies are balanced. The scale can be tipped with an infiltration of bad bacteria through poor diets as well as antibiotics (they kill both beneficial and harmful bacteria).
How can probiotics help my oral health?
The probiotic strains that are surfacing in the dental health space are S. salivarius K12 and M18. The impact they have has been found to reduce cariogenic (cavity causing) and periodontal pathogens in the mouth through their bactericon-like-inhibitory-substances, or their BLIS factor, which acts as a microbial agent. Both of these strains are produced in the mouth, however, M18 specifically targets the harmful bacteria in the mouth.
The reason for taking the M18 strain is that only two percent of the population actually produces enough of the bacteria in their mouths to ward off tooth decay — so that leaves 98 percent of us needing more of the M18 strain to help fight cavities!
Both the K12 and M18 strains can support oral health in the following ways:
- Plaque prevention
- Fight bad breath
- Fight gum inflammation
Dental care probiotics are commonly swished throughout the mouth, taken as lozenges, or in capsule form.
The Beauty of S. salivarius M18
The M18 strain helps to neutralize acids and break up plaque in the mouth. The M18 strain has two enzymes that support a healthy mouth microbiome that includes:
- Urease – This is the superhero enzyme that neutralizes acid from S. mutans (the cavity causing bacteria).
- Dextranase – This is the stealthy, yet equally important enzyme that destroys the plaque biofilm of S. mutans and further inhibits acids from forming on the teeth.
What is the case for dental care probiotics?
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) recently reported that half of the US adult population has periodontal disease. This is worrisome because not only does periodontal disease affect your oral health, it has harmful implications in other disease states such as diabetes and heart disease, plainly, periodontal disease affects your overall health.
Probiotics with the specific K12 and M18 strains, further support preventative measures in fighting cavities and periodontal disease. So, if you’re someone who needs a little extra support, ask your dentist about dental health probiotics!
Precision Dental Of Windsor
At Precision Dental Of Windsor, we look forward to connecting with you in our office. Whether you have questions about probiotics or you simply need a teeth cleaning, we’re here for all of your dental health needs!
Schedule an appointment today!