Dental probiotics, also known as oral probiotics, are not the same thing as gut probiotics. Gut probiotics are more widely known and more often talked about. You may have heard about needing good bacteria in your system. When your doctor puts you on an antibiotic, they might recommend probiotic pills or even to eat lots of yogurts. That’s all for your gut and that’s not what we’re talking about today.
What we’re talking about are dental probiotics.
These types of probiotics target specific bacteria that you need in your mouth. They are often said to benefit your mouth and your teeth by reducing your risk of bad breath, gingivitis, tooth decay, tonsillitis, oral thrush, and in some cases even oral cancer. Because when your oral flora the bacteria in your mouth is out of whack. The idea is that dental probiotics can help balance the healthy bacteria inside of your mouth. So that’s what the hype is all about in the dental world right now.
Oral probiotics help treat a bunch of things in your mouth, however, the question is, is the hype real?
We already know that, when the natural bacteria inside of our mouths gets off balance, it can put us at a higher risk for infections and including all the stuff, bad breath, oral thrush, etc. So using a dental probiotic can potentially help take your home care routine to the next level. But you have to remember one important thing, dental probiotics do not physically remove the bad bacteria from your mouth. They only get the right balance of good bacteria and aid in the prevention and treatment of oral infections.
So before ever considering taking dental probiotics, you need to first remove the bad germs with mechanical methods.
What the methods are brushing, flossing, and routine cleanings at your dental office. Dental probiotics will not replace your dental hygiene routine. They are only an addition to it. It’s like spraying sanitizer spray on a dirty soiled countertop without wiping it down first. You can’t properly sanitize something that is soiled with dirt. So in order for dental probiotics to work, you need to be great about brushing, flossing, and seeing your dental hygienist regularly.
If you brushed, flossed, got your teeth cleaned, and talked with your dentist about taking dental probiotics now, how do you decide which one to take?
A typical dental probiotic is usually going to be in the form of a lozenge or a chewable tablet. Sometimes you’ll even see them come in a rinse form like a mouthwash. They won’t usually be a pill like gut probiotics. Because they intend to stay in your mouth, not your stomach. Also, dental probiotics come in different strains depending on what you’re targeting.
For example, some of the most effective dental probiotics will contain bacterial strains like L. salivarius and L. reuteri. L. reuteri works best by helping manage gingivitis. And L. salivarius can help with several different issues including chronic bad breath, your risk of tooth decay, and gums that bleed whenever you brush and floss.
So in all, the best advice is to always talk with your dentist to decide which probiotics would be the best for your individual mouth. But again, just remember that they are just supplemental additional, not a necessity. It’s only if you want to try and go above and beyond or maybe you are someone who’s been struggling with gum disease. You’ve been doing all the things, brushing, flossing, and water flossing, and seeing your dentist every three months instead of every six months, but your gums are still not stabilizing. Maybe dental probiotics really would be worth trying in those cases.
But regardless no matter what the status of your dental health, it’s always recommended to have an individual assessment with your dentist for your situation. I hope this helped you. If you have any other questions about dental health, feel free to leave comments below.