It is all the rage…probiotics to help everything from gut health to mental health. There is a new kid on the block. It is dental probiotics. How do dental probiotics work? I am here to help you understand their mechanism of action and decide if their use is best for you.
Bad breath is one of the main areas where dental probiotics are helpful. I am a dental hygienist and I feel that bad breath is more of a concern for some than even cavities and gum disease. Good news! Dental probiotics can also be beneficial for those issues as well.
I am going to explain the way dental probiotics can work for you and provide you with the information you need when looking for the right product to use. This can be a very helpful tool in your toolbox to maintain optimal oral health.
What are Dental Probiotics? Different from Regular Probiotics?
In an article in US National Library of Medicine, it is discussed how dental probiotics provide health benefits to you by giving you strains of bacteria that are designed to focus on bacteria that are specific to your mouth.
By now, I am sure you have heard of probiotics. Products abound with these beneficial bacteria. You most likely have heard of probiotics to improve the health of your gut. These probiotics are found in yogurt, fermented foods and daily supplements. However, there is a different type of probiotic that benefits your oral health called a dental probiotic. These probiotics target the bacteria in the mouth specifically to create a balance between good and bad bacteria.
Another name for a dental probiotic is an oral probiotic. This may be a bit confusing since probiotics for the gut are swallowed orally but are not considered oral probiotics. Dental probiotics are supplements that come in the form of a chewable probiotic or a lozenge that can dissolve in the mouth to provide contact directly where they are most helpful.
They contain strains of bacteria that have been specifically researched to provide oral benefits by replenishing the bacteria in your oral microbiome. A balanced oral microbiome may prevent cavities, help prevent gum disease and help eliminate bad breath.
What’s a Microbiome?
Having a balanced microbiome is more important than just the health of your mouth. There have been many systemic diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, heart disease and even cancer showing a possible correlation with overgrowth of bad bacteria in the mouth.
Dental probiotics can help to maintain the best ratio of good to bad bacteria in your mouth. This is directly related to the health of your body. Since your mouth is considered the gateway to your body, using dental probiotics can help maintain oral and overall health.
The Microbiology Society refers to a microbiome as being a careful balance of bacteria within a system or habitiat. There is a relationship between you, the host and your microbiome that needs to be maintained and balanced. When there is an unbalanced state, this is referred to as dysbiosis. The Medical Dictionary refers to dysbiosis as a change in the oral cavity in regards to the ecology of normal bacteria. There are many environmental factors that affect this careful balance. These include such things as stress, medications, diet and tobacco usage. When the balance is disrupted, it alters our microbiome causing a shift in our body’s ecosystem. The microbiome in the mouth is made up of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
All of these microorganisms are either beneficial to us or harmful. By supplementing your oral health routine with oral probiotics, you can help maintain more of the beneficial microbes while at the same time decreasing the amount of those that are harmful.
So, How Do Dental Probiotics Work?
Most dental problems occur from an imbalance of the oral microbiome. As mentioned, many environmental factors can disturb the balance of the trillions of bacteria in the mouth. Even the use of antimicrobial mouthwash can disturb this balance.
Contrary to belief, we actually need certain bacteria that are beneficial to the health of our mouths. Therefore, using a mouthwash that promises to kill 99.9% of all bacteria is not a good thing. This is another good reason to supplement with oral probiotics that can restore the oral microbiome to its natural protective state.
Harmful microbes can take over and grow out of control without enough probiotics in the mouth. This makes it easier for adverse dental conditions to occur. Dental probiotics contain strains of bacteria that are already presently living in your mouth. They work with these existing strains to help repopulate the beneficial bacteria. In essence, with an increase in population of good bacteria you will be crowding out the bad bacteria due to their competition for space and limited resources.
How Probiotics May Improve Your Oral Health:
- Reducing inflammation- a systemic review in PubMed show the role of probiotic bacteria in managing periodontal disease (gum disease)
- Antimicrobial action- production of certain chemicals and enzymes of oral probiotics destroy harmful microbes such as those that cause cavities
- Reducing pathogens abitlity to grow out of control- working like antibiotics to make it hard for bad bacteria to live and flourish
- Treating bad breath– reducing volatile sulfur compounds (smelly gases produced by bacterial plaque) responsible for causing bad breath
There are a number of oral dental probiotics to choose from. As a dental professional, I recommend a product called Hyperbiotics Pro Dental Oral Probiotics. This product has a unique combination of beneficial bacteria strains.
Hyperbiotics PRO-Dental Ingredients
The proprietary blend of bacterial strains present in the patented Hyperbiotics PRO-Dental supplement is generally considered to be the main reason behind the success of the product.
Those strains include:
- L Salivarius K12. It produces two potent proteins: Salivaricin A and Salivaricin B known as BLIS (bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances). Without Salivarius K12 bacterial balance may shift to create a microbiome leading to cavities, bad breath, sore throats and ear infections. This strain has been studied and shown to increase the body’s immune response.
- L Salivarius M18 This strain, most commonly found naturally in the saliva, has been known to eliminate plaque and prevent cavities. It has the ability to convert saliva enzymes into a substance that will neutralize acids. Salivarius M18 can prevent biofilm, plaque, gum disease and cavities.
- Lactobacillus sakei. This bacterial strain has been linked to healthy sinus cavities, and it may help to prevent sinusitis.
- Lactobacillus reuteri. This ingredient is responsible for improving digestive health by colonizing the mouth and GI tract and producing substances that may inhibit pathogens. Research shows it may boost the immune system.
- Lactobacillus paracasei. This strain is used in supplements to improve immune function. Studies show that it can also inhibit Streptococcus mutans which is the bacteria responsible for cavities and bad breath.
This product contains 2 mg of chelated zinc (as zinc amino acid chelate). It is vegetarian, GMO free, yeast free, soy free, sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, nut free and contains no preservatives, colorings, sweeteners or flavorings, Each tablet contains 170mg (3 billion CFUs). It is formulated with a patented ‘LiveBac’ technology which helps maintain the probiotics without refrigeration and extends their shelf life.
It is recommended to supplement with one tablet of Hyperbiotics Pro Dental once or twice per day. This product is in the form of a minty or unflavored chewable product. It can also be slowly dissolved in the mouth over time if you prefer. For more intense support, 2-3 tablets can be chewed or dissolved in the mouth twice per day.
Hyperbiotics Pro Dental Oral Probiotics
PRO-Dental Hyperbiotics is formulated with probiotic strains that will help to balance and repopulate good bacteria which can support your upper respiratory and oral health. The best natural defense you can have is an oral microbiome which contains colonies of oral health promoting bacteria.
As a dental professional I am asked quite frequently “How do dental probiotics work?” I am always happy to explain to my patients their unique mechanism of action. I feel many people are unaware that there is a product like this that actually works. In addition to supplementing with dental probiotics, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene and to see your dentist regularly for checkups.
Dental probiotics can be used daily In addition to brushing twice a day (preferably with an electric toothbrush) and cleaning between your teeth once a day. People who prefer not to floss now have great options for cleaning between their teeth. These include the use of Proxabrushes (interdental cleaners) or using a Waterpik. An oral irrigator such as a Waterpik is an amazing adjunct to your homecare routine. It is easy to use and can remove twice as much plaque and debris from between your teeth as flossing can.
I invite you to try PRO-Dental Hyperbiotics and see the difference for yourself. Please leave any questions or comments below and I would be happy to help!
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