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Probiotics are even good for oral health

Probiotics: Good for the gut, good for oral health

Feb. 13, 2024
The benefits of probiotics extend to oral health. Adding Prodentis to your armamentarium can help you treat a variety of patients.

Probiotics are usually associated with gut health. But they have a beneficial impact on oral health as well. BioGaia, a Swedish biotechnology company, develops, markets, and sells a diverse range of probiotic products. Their Prodentis line is specifically tailored to promote oral health.

To learn more about this product, check out the research that explains its formulation. Categorizing probiotics hinges on identifying their genus, species, and strains. Familiar strains of gut-centric probiotics are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.1 This classification is crucial to understanding the complex makeup and functioning of probiotic formulations.

The makeup of probiotics

With Prodentis, a distinct patented lactic acid bacterium, Limosilactobacillus reuteri, takes center stage. Prodentis features a unique strain combination of L. reuteri DSM 17938 and L. reuteri ATCC PTA 5289, and helps maintain a natural balance of beneficial microorganisms in the oral environment.

L. reuteri DSM 17938 has a discernible antimicrobial efficacy, which helps it counteract pathogenic microorganisms in the oral cavity. This strain impedes harmful bacteria, contributing to maintaining a microbial equilibrium conducive to oral health.2

Conversely, the selection of L. reuteri ATCC PTA 5289 is due to its capacity to mitigate inflammation, particularly in the oral tissues. Recognizing the pivotal role that inflammation plays in oral health, this strain modulates inflammatory processes, fostering an environment conducive to periodontal and overall oral health.2,3 The integration of L. reuteri DSM 17938 and L. reuteri ATCC PTA 5289 holistically addresses oral health concerns by leveraging their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, respectively.

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How probiotics impact oral health

Scientists worldwide have conducted research to explain the impact of L. reuteri strains on various facets of oral health. Their investigations have studied its efficacy in reducing inflammation, augmenting the production of antimicrobial agents, fortifying the mucosal barrier, diminishing bleeding upon probing, and establishing positive clinical implications in the context of peri-implant mucositis and implantitis. These findings underscore the contributions of L. reuteri to oral health and signify its potential as a valuable intervention in dental care.

The incorporation of L. reuteri into clinical practice involves consideration of its applicability in the operatory. Following scaling and root planing, where both beneficial and detrimental bacteria are removed, there’s an opportunity to restore microbial balance. Comparable to the principle of oral antibiotics impacting the entire bacterial environment, reintroducing beneficial bacteria into the treated pockets is a sensible practice.

Prodentis, available in unflavored drops and apple or mint lozenges, facilitates this reintroduction. Using a microbrush or noninvasive application syringe, the solution can be precisely applied to the periodontal pockets after scaling and root planing. Patients are instructed to continue the regimen at home by using the lozenges or drops, perpetuating the augmentation of beneficial oral microbiota. This systematic approach optimizes oral health outcomes and restores patients to optimal oral health. (Note that dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.)

L. reuteri and ortho patients

The advantages of L. reuteri extend beyond the scope of scaling and root planing to a broader patient demographic. Given its efficacy in reducing gingivitis, L. reuteri has the potential to help people with even a marginal susceptibility to gingival inflammation. This includes those undergoing orthodontic treatment, where challenges in maintaining proper oral hygiene can lead to increased gingivitis.

Incorporating L. reuteri into the clinical management of orthodontic patients involves both in-office application and systematic home-care guidance. By initiating its application in the dental office and providing clear instructions for a straightforward home regimen, gingivitis development in orthodontic patients can be significantly mitigated. This approach underscores the versatile applicability of L. reuteri in preventive oral care across diverse patient populations.

In summary, L. reuteri stands as a commendable probiotic with the potential to seamlessly integrate into our patients' oral health-care regimens, thereby effecting substantial positive outcomes. Its efficacy and versatility position it as a valuable asset in promoting enhanced oral health for patients. The ease of incorporation, coupled with the notable impact it can have on oral well-being, emphasizes Prodentis as a significant adjunct to comprehensive oral care strategies.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the January-February 2024 print edition of RDH magazine. Dental hygienists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.

Samantha Farrar, DHS, MPH, BSDH, RDH. is a skilled dental hygienist with a doctoral degree, excelling as a clinician, educator, and board examiner. With a special passion for pediatric dentistry and research, she brings 18 years of invaluable experience to her practices. As an adjunct faculty member at College of DuPage, she is dedicated to shaping the next generation of dental professionals. Driven by a commitment to oral health advancement, she continuously strives to improve dental care for patients of all ages.