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Probiotics & Oral Health

What Are Probiotics? 

There is a good chance you have at least heard the word probiotics at some point in your life. Whether in a TV commercial or from your doctor. But do you really know what probiotics are? Keep reading to find out a fair amount more, and then give our Snellville, GA dentist’s office a call at [phone] to request your next easy appointment at Parkway Dental.

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your body. The word bacteria is often associated with germs or illness, but your body is actually full of both good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are the good kind of bacteria because they help keep your body, mainly your gut, healthy. 

But since we are talking about your oral health, our focus is more on oral probiotics. Oral probiotics are good bacteria that have been studied and found to have a positive effect on improving oral health and preventing oral health problems. 

The Connection Between Probiotics & Oral Health

There have been several studies on the connection between probiotics and oral health. A 2006 study published in the Swedish Dental Journal found a probiotic that reduced gum bleeding in patients who had moderate to severe gingivitis. A different study from 2009 found that eating Bioactiv (a yogurt with probiotics) daily had a noticeable effect on a harmful, cavity-causing bacteria with the potential to significantly lower the risk of developing new cavities. 

Furthermore, a 2016 study showed that a specific strain of bacteria called A12 fights a common cavity-causing bacterium that turns sugar into lactic acid. Acid has a dangerous effect on teeth, causing plaque and cavities. 

How Probiotics Help Fight Gum Disease

With all the bacteria that exist in your mouth, there is nothing to worry about as long as they are in balance. Basically, as long as you have enough good bacteria to keep the bad bacteria from hurting you, you shouldn’t have any problems.

But when things get out of whack, those bad bacteria can take over and wreak havoc in your mouth. Probiotics contain good bacteria to help maintain that balance and prevent oral health issues like gum disease. 

That’s not to say that good habits like brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist every six months isn’t still essential. Instead, it’s worth considering adding a probiotic to your daily ritual as a way to keep your mouth and the rest of your body healthy. 

There is a specific group of good bacteria called lactobacilli that have been proven to help fight several kinds of bad bacteria. This helpful strain of bacteria can be found in many over-the-counter probiotics as well as food products. Most commonly, lactobacillus is found in yogurt. To see if your favorite brand of yogurt contains lactobacillus, check the ingredient label. You can also look for the National Yogurt Association’s “live and active cultures” seal as proof that the yogurt contains these helpful bacteria.

For more information on how you can keep your mouth healthy and avoid common oral health issues, call Parkway Dental. Our team of friendly and experienced experts in Snellville, GA is more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Be sure to schedule your next checkup and cleaning as well. Call [phone] today.

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