Cavity Prevention with Probiotics | Delmarva Dental Services

Cavity Prevention with Probiotics

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Oral probiotics are the latest in the prevention of cavities, gum disease and bad breath. Probiotics were defined by FAO/WHO (The Food Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization) as live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts (in food or as a dietary supplement), provide health benefits on the host.  Most of us are familiar with probiotics for digestion where a pill can be taken or yogurt eaten with active bacterial cultures. Oral probiotics provide good bacteria for our mouth. Streptococcus mutans is a bacteria normally found in the mouth. We are not born with it but we get it from our mother’s oral bacteria. S. mutans sticks to your teeth with other organisms forming a biofilm. (See It All Starts with Biofilms” and “Biofilms and Our Health. S. mutans uses the sugars from your diet, making acid that dissolves tooth structure and causes cavities. Oral probiotics use helpful bacteria that are present in high numbers in cavity free individuals. These bacteria inhibit S. mutans. There are several probiotics on the market today for oral health. The company that has good studies to back up their claims is Oragenics. The company was founded by Dr Jeffrey Hillman in 2004, a microbiologist who has been studying cavity causing bacteria since 1976. Oragenics has four oral care consumer products that feature different ratios of three natural strains of beneficial bacteria patented as ProBiora3®. The three stains of bacteria are Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus uberis, and Streptococcus rattus which naturally support gum and tooth health. These bacteria colonize the mouth and adhere to the tooth surfaces deep below the gum line. They freshen breath by inhibiting odor causing bacteria. The bacteria S. oralis KJ3™ and S. uberis KJ2™ naturally whiten teeth by producing low doses of hydrogen peroxide. The following four products are available: EvoraPro: A probiotic lozenge with equal portions of all three strains that is designed for those over the age of 10. Taken before bedtime (ideally after brushing) this probiotic lozenge supports gum and tooth health, naturally freshens breath and gently whitens. Here at Delmarva Dental Services, we have seen amazing results in cavity reduction, gum health and plaque levels. It has been especially beneficial with patients who have poor oral hygiene like nursing home patients. We have it available for purchase at the front desk. EvoraKids: A Wild Very Berry Cherry chew that has higher levels of S. rattus JH145™, which supports dental health, and reduced levels of S. oralis KJ3™ and S. uberis KJ2™, since periodontal health is not typically a concern for children. We have it available for purchase at the front desk.