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Periodontitis is caused by harmful bacteria that cause plaque to accumulate on the tooth’s surface and by the immune system’s inflammatory response to these bacteria. It affects the gum, ligament, root covering, and bone at the base of a tooth, resulting in degradation of the tooth-supporting structures and formation of deep pockets around the tooth. If not properly managed, it can lead to tooth loss.
The study, published in Acta Odontologica Scandanavica, included 20 nonsmokers with mild to moderate periodontitis. They were given chewable probiotics containing two strains of Lactobacillus reuteri or placebo to take daily for 30 days. Lactobacillus reuteri is one of the most populous bacteria in the digestive system, and the specific strains used in this probiotic supplement, known together as Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis, have been shown to be active against the bacteria involved in periodontitis.
The participants had dental exams before and after the trial to measure changes in pocket depths around the teeth, plaque levels, and bleeding with probing. These were the changes the researchers saw:
“Our results in this study suggest that a probiotic intervention with Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis could be a useful tool for treatment of inflammation and clinical symptoms of periodontitis, especially in nonsmoking subjects with initial-to-moderate chronic periodontitis,” the study’s authors said.
Taking a probiotic formulated for the mouth is a good strategy for improving oral health. Here are a few other ways to keep your mouth healthy:
(Acta Odontol Scand 2013;71:813–9)