Benefits of Probiotics on Oral Health

  • by Laura S.
  • 24 October 2017

Benefits of Probiotics on Oral Health

Most people think of digestion when it comes to probiotics, but bacteria are all over your body and it affects numerous aspects of your health. One part of your body that is teeming with bacteria is your mouth. Sometimes bad oral bacteria cannot be fixed with just cleaning and is often the cause of many dental health issues, including bad breath. Gross…we know. But it doesn’t have to be! While probiotics are known for reestablishing healthy gut flora, they can also restore a healthy oral cavity. That’s right…probiotics can prevent dental problems AND bad breath!

Benefits of Oral Probiotics

The benefits of probiotics for oral health are plentiful, but here are the four most important ones.

  1. Protects from plaque

    The right probiotics can offset plaque-forming bacteria in your mouth by stopping them from creating an overly-acidic environment in the mouth.

  2. Maintains gum health and decreases bleeding

    If your gums are bleeding way more often than you’d like, probiotics can help with that by improving gingival inflammation.

  3. Stops growth of bad bacteria that causes bad breath

    Many people don’t realize that you can take oral probiotics for bad breath. They compete with the bad bacteria that produces the smelly compounds in your mouth.

  4. Supports immune system

    While probiotics can improve dental health, they can also improve your immune system by helping to prevent infections in the throat and sinus.

How Probiotics for Oral Health Work

Bad breath or dental health issues can be a sign that your mouth contains higher levels of harmful bacteria like Streptococcus mutans or Porphyromonas gingivalis. These odor-causing, harmful bacteria attach and colonize to surfaces in the mouth that are coated in saliva, and produce waste called Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSCs) - causing bad breath. These smelly compounds aren’t something you can simply brush away. You need beneficial bacteria to compete with the bad bacteria for sites on the surface of your mouth. It’s a good thing that probiotics can be used for more than just digestive health; the right strains of probiotics can promote oral health as well.

Probiotics for oral health can change the levels of pH or acidity in the oral cavity to a more alkaline environment. Since bad bacteria thrive in a more acidic environment, this inhibits the growth of bad bacteria that causes plaque. Probiotics also reduce the number of VSC-producing bacteria by competing with them for nutrients and adhesion sites in the mouth. This is why it’s important to choose probiotics strains that also thrive on those surfaces.

Best Strains of Probiotics for Dental Health and Bad Breath

S. salivarius K12 and S. salivarius M18

S. salivarius is the best probiotic strain for oral health and colonizes on the tongues, tonsils, and throats of healthy mouths. It is very effective at reducing odor-causing bacteria, preventing cavities, protecting tooth enamel, and breaking up plaque. This strain also boosts your immune system as it protects you from ear, nose, and throat infections.

L. reuteri

L. reuteri can decrease bleeding in the gums and plaque formation. This strain is also anti-inflammatory which is very helpful for people who suffer from irritation and swelling of gum tissue. L. reuteri makes the immune system stronger by fighting off harmful infections.

Benefits of Oral Probiotics for Immune Health

Every day, our kids are exposed to all types of harmful bacteria that can make them sick. Next thing you know, the whole family is under the weather. Those germs most commonly enter the body through the mouth or nose. Healthy probiotic flora in the oral cavity is your first line of defense against infections of the throat, sinuses, and ear canals. Restore healthy, immune-boosting bacteria in your mouth and nose with a probiotic specifically made for oral and sinus health.

The Best Way to Take Probiotics for Oral Health

While there are many probiotic rich foods such as yogurt, not all of them contain the right strain for colonizing in the oral cavity. The best thing you can do is find a quality probiotic that is designed specifically for oral health. If you follow the instructions on the bottle you choose, you will reap the most benefits. After consuming the probiotic, try not to eat or drink for thirty minutes to ensure that good bacteria have time to adhere to the surfaces of your mouth. Although probiotic supplements are incredible for oral health, you still need to keep brushing your teeth every day. Continue to visit your dentist regularly and hopefully he or she notices how much healthier your pearly whites look after taking probiotics for oral health!

About the Author

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, Laura is a writer with a passion for health and wellness. She studied literature as well as health and nutrition at the George Washington University. When she’s not working, you can find her playing guitar, drawing, or trying new restaurants in the city.

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