Dental probiotics for teeth, gums, and throat health
The mouth provides shelter for about 700-1000 different microorganisms. Collectively, all their genetic information is called the oral microbiome. This is the second largest most diverse ecosystem in the body and intimately connected to health and disease.
Ideally the millions of species live together in a complex, balanced ecosystem, contributing to health.
Sometimes negative shifts (dysbiosis) can happen that may lead to a disease state. Read more about it in our previous post.
These are so common in the mouth, it affects almost everyone on Earth at least once in his/ her lifetime. Periodontal disease (gum disease) and dental caries (cavities) are among the most common chronic conditions on Earth.
Everything we put in our mouth, all the chemicals and food cause rapid changes in the flora composition on a daily basis and in the long run.
There are tools available to neutralize the negative consequences. Some of them are more drastic and therapeutic, when problems have already developed.
Sometimes the imbalanced ecosystem is further disrupted by antibiotics or antiseptic mouthwash as an attempt to stop periodontal disease (gum disease).
During the treatment of cavities, the infected tooth structure is removed to prevent further damage, and the cavity is now filled with some material.
What’s the problem with the overuse of antiseptic mouthwash or antibiotics?
The side effects of frequent antibiotic usage is well known. A key factor for ecosystem stability is diversity and these products typically decrease it. Certain mouthwash can act as a wide-spectrum, non-selective antimicrobial.
I will use a beautiful garden metaphor. If you destroy the plants living there in harmony, you get a barren land. Very soon, not just new plants will occur but those may overgrow the old species. Very often, the new opportunistic weeds will dominate the environment.
The same applies to microbial communities. The few pathogen species, that may cause human disease, are usually present in a normal oral microbiota.
In dysbioses, pathogens take the opportunity to quickly overgrow, increase their proportion in the population and induce damage. It’s not the same, beautiful diverse garden anymore.
Normally, the body and the rest of the community, the good bacteria, make sure that the bad ones stay so low, they cannot cause any harm. Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host. These are used for a long time for certain purposes and more and more applications are being discovered.
The mouth is slightly different. Firstly, everything enters via the mouth so the direct effects are immediate. Secondly, there is no food persisting around for too long. At least ideally, and this is a key difference between healthy and diseased states. Bacteria in the mouth naturally get nutrients from the saliva or what’s consumed. The constant saliva flow is washing everything further down, which explains the relatively small total biomass.
Microbes form a thin layer of biofilm, which is a complex, interconnected form of how bacteria live. A moderate amount of healthy plaque (biofilm) has been shown to prevent erosive enamel lesions and hypersensitivity.
A diet high in carbohydrates and sugars quickly promotes a sticky, harmful plaque formations made by certain bacteria.
This plaque will further protect those, blocking the body’s protective measures to neutralize them. The sugar is also used as an energy source for these species, while acids are by-produced. These acids drop the pH of the plaque, again protected from the saliva’s buffering capacities and result in the demineralization and cavity formation of hard structures.
In the context of oral health, dental probiotic supplements may prevent the oral biofilm from being environmentally stressed and maintain a stable symbiosis associated with health. Beneficial bacteria may also repair a dysbiotic biofilm associated with diseases.
Probiotics used in the mouth may provide a safe option to slowly re-balance the microbiota into a healthier form. These species in a life-and-death competition with each other. It’s the ideal, when the good ones are dominating and suppressing the bad ones.
Many bacteria do this not just by plain competition but by producing specific antimicrobial agents. Some of those specifically targeted against pathogens. Similarly probiotics may produce molecules that block harmful plaque formation of bacteria like S. mutans, which is considered to be a key player in the development of cavities.
Imbalanced microbes in plaque responsible for gum disease and its more severe stage called periodontal disease. It’s a chronic inflammation linked to many local and systemic issues. Locally it leads to the progressive loss of structures around the teeth, bone and gum loss with chronic inflammatory response. Eventually it results in loose teeth, tooth loss, infections, and linked to rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. This inflammation of the gums and the surrounding tissues may be regulated and prevented by probiotics.
Many dental probiotics have inhibitory effects on bad breath-related bacteria. These are anaerobic (cannot survive in oxygen) bacteria which decompose to produce sulfides, emitting a foul odor and producing bad breath (halitosis).
Keeping a fine-tuned balance of the oral microbiota is key for health. Our modern lifestyle interrupts this equilibrium on most levels. Science and nature provide solutions. Instead of using antiseptic mouthwash to keep the ecosystem suppressed, one can use dental probiotics to restore it.
Natorally Dental Probiotic Mouthwash Tablet provides not just the benefitial probiotic strains, but prebiotics and other proven ingredients that fight pathogenic bacteria and support good ones.
It blocks unhealthy plaque formation and helps your body to reduce inflammation.
I will write about the specific ingredients in separate posts, where we delve deeper into the science and benefits of those natural compounds.
Further read and references