probiotics prevent periodontitis and gingivitis

You knew that probiotics help you digest your food, but did you know they help you eat your food too? There are tons of uses of probiotics. Here’s a new one.

Gingivitis refers to inflammation and bleeding of the gums. If it progresses to periodontitis, then you could experience loose teeth, pain, dental pockets, swelling and even bone destruction. By the age of 20, 38% of people have it. By 35, the number is up to 46% and by 50, 54% of us will suffer from it. For people between the ages of 60 and 74 the number is as high as 70-90%. Help would be welcome!

The most common recommendation for managing gingivitis is to floss. But recent research shows that the evidence for that advice is weak, and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines has quietly dropped the recommendation that people floss their teeth.

So, what can you do? A recent meta-analysis says you can take your probiotics.

The meta-analysis included three controlled studies. The studies compared conventional treatment to the same treatment with the addition of probiotics. Traditional treatment involves scaling and root planning (SRP). SRP is a deep cleaning technique that removes plaque and tarter from the tooth both above and below the gum line and smooths the surface of the roots. SRP is used to prevent the progression of periodontitis.

The study found that adding probiotics to SRP works better than SRP alone. People who also took probiotics had significantly greater improvement in the support and stability of the tooth as measured by clinical attachment level (CAL) and bleeding upon probing: both markers of periodontitis. They also had significantly greater improvement in pocket depth when the pockets were moderate or deep.

This meta-analysis supports the idea that probiotics can help prevent gum disease.

Journal of Clinical Periodontology 2016;43(6):520-30

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The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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