6 Benefits of Oral Probiotics
In the diverse world of bacteria, probiotics stand out as our allies. These "good" versions of bacteria and yeasts exist naturally in different parts of the body and various foods or supplements. Their proven benefits for gut health have been recognized for some time, but recent research also shines a spotlight on their potential for oral health.
Incorporating oral probiotics into your routine could be a game-changer for maintaining your oral microbiome's balance.
Understanding the Oral Microbiome and Its Importance
The term 'oral microbiome' refers to the community of microorganisms living in our mouths, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Just as gut microbiota plays a critical role in digestive health, the oral microbiome is vital for oral and overall health.
Our mouth is a dynamic ecosystem, teeming with around 700 different types of bacteria. These microbes interact with each other and our body in ways that can maintain health or contribute to disease.
A healthy oral microbiome provides various benefits:
- Prevents tooth decay and gum disease: Beneficial bacteria keep pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria in check, preventing these common oral issues.
- Reduces bad breath: Balanced oral microbiota can help minimize halitosis or bad breath.
- Supports overall health: Studies link a healthy oral microbiome to lower risks of systemic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
However, the delicate balance of the oral microbiome can be disrupted by several factors:
When these factors cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, oral health issues can arise, and the risk of other health problems may increase. Therefore, maintaining and protecting the health of our oral microbiome is crucial.
Do Oral Probiotics Work?
When considering oral probiotics, you're not only asking, "Do oral probiotics work?" but rather, "How do they improve my oral health?". So, let's delve into six remarkable oral health benefits of these microscopic superheroes, aka "dental probiotics."
1. The Plaque Fighters
Probiotics for oral health can prevent plaque formation, a sticky film of bacteria that builds on your teeth and can lead to cavities and gum disease. They alter the bacterial balance in dental plaque, which promotes a healthier oral environment.
2. Guardians Against Oral Diseases
Next on the list of benefits is the role of probiotics in preventing or treating oral diseases. Some bacteria in your mouth can cause oral diseases, while others promote oral health. When probiotics increase the population of healthy bacteria in your mouth, they can fight off disease-causing bacteria more effectively. For instance, studies show a reduction in oral cancer in rats administered with a strain of Lactobacillus probiotic.
3. Minimizing Caries-Causing Microbes
Certain harmful bacteria, such as mutans streptococci, increase the risk of cavities. Interestingly, probiotics, especially lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, can reduce the number of these harmful microbes. While we need further research to state the impact on cavities conclusively, these findings indicate a promising potential for probiotics to minimize the risk of cavities.
4. Alleviating Periodontal Inflammation
Dental probiotics are also champions of gum health. Studies on individuals with various periodontal diseases showed significant improvements when treated with the L. Acidophilus strain. Other strains of probiotics also showed impressive results in reducing gum bleeding and enhancing gum health.
5. Keeping Candida in Check
Candida, a fungus in your body, can grow out of control due to various factors, leading to candidiasis (thrush). While research is ongoing, some studies found a decrease in yeast counts associated with the use of probiotics. This points to their potential role in curbing oral candida overgrowth.
6. Tackling Halitosis
Finally, probiotics can help manage halitosis, also known as bad breath. Around 90% of halitosis cases originate in the oral cavity, often due to "bad" bacteria. Probiotics, especially certain Streptococcus salivarius K12 strains, can fight off these bad bacteria and alleviate symptoms of halitosis.
The time taken for probiotics to show effects varies from person to person, but consistently including them in your routine can gradually bolster the healthy bacteria in your mouth. This builds up the resilience of your oral health in the long term.
Harness the power of probiotics by including probiotic-rich foods in your diet or trying a supplement. Pairing probiotics with prebiotics, such as those in Terra & Co.'s Gentle Green Oil Pulling, can boost their benefits.
Beyond Probiotics: Protecting Your Oral Microbiome
While probiotics are essential in maintaining oral health, remember they're just one part of a broader oral hygiene plan. Good oral hygiene habits like regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings are still crucial for a healthy mouth.
Here are some other measures you can take to safeguard your oral microbiome further:
- Healthy Diet: Sugary foods and drinks can fuel harmful bacteria in your mouth. A balanced diet rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals can contribute to a healthy oral microbiome.
- Stay Hydrated: A dry mouth can disrupt the balance of your oral microbiome, potentially leading to oral health problems. Ensure you drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist and help wash away food particles and bacteria.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking can harm the good bacteria in your mouth and contribute to various oral health problems. Quitting can help restore your oral microbiome balance.
- Limit Alcohol: Like smoking, alcohol can disrupt the balance of your oral microbiome and potentially lead to oral health issues. Moderation is key here.
By combining the power of probiotics with other good oral health habits, you're giving your oral microbiome the best chance to thrive. So, embrace probiotics for their oral health benefits, but remember to support them with a broader, proactive approach to your dental well-being.
Optimize Your Oral Health with Terra & Co's Innovative Products
If you want to invest in oral health, consider the range of high-quality, sustainable, and eco-friendly dental care products from Terra & Co. The products are carefully formulated to help maintain a healthy oral microbiome and promote overall oral health.
For example, the Brilliant Black Charcoal Toothpaste is fluoride-free and harnesses the natural antibacterial and antifungal properties of activated charcoal to remove plaque and restore a healthy pH balance in your mouth.
Moreover, Terra & Co.'s dental products are good for your oral health and the environment. For instance, their eco-friendly toothbrushes are made with durable and biodegradable bamboo and soft-to-medium bristles infused with activated charcoal — nature's own stain and plaque buster.
So whether you're seeking probiotics for oral health, dental care products, or both, Terra & Co offers products perfect for daily use, ensuring you get the oral health benefits you seek while being kind to the planet. Your mouth and Mother Earth will thank you!