Our bodies have both good and bad bacteria that control our internal systemic functions like digestion. Probiotics are good bacteria that are beneficial for your gut. But research reveals that apart from digestion, probiotics are also great for dental health.
Probiotic supplements can also help with various health conditions. However, it can vary from one person to another, which means what works for one person might not work equally great for others. The effects also depend on the type of probiotics that you consume.
How do probiotics work?
The main aim of the good bacteria in probiotics is to maintain a balance in your body for good health. For example, bad bacteria enter your body when you get sick, and they multiply in number. You would need good bacteria to fight with them so that they can restore that healthy body balance.
Good bacteria can benefit your body by providing support to the overall immune functions and also control inflammation. Different types of beneficial bacteria work differently in your body like –
- They help you with better digestion.
- They improve your dental health.
- They keep the bad bacteria in control, which prevents you from falling sick.
- Creation of vitamins in your body.
- They help in the breakdown and absorption of medications to make them more effective.
- They prevent the bad bacteria that you might have consumed from entering your bloodstream.
Some health conditions that can be treated using probiotics daily include diarrhea, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Urinary Tract Infections, Yeast Infections, Lactose Intolerance, and more.
How can probiotics benefit your dental health?
Apart from these, probiotics are also quite effective in improving your dental health. According to the latest studies, the following are the benefits that it offers –
- Prevent formation of plaque – We have various bacterias in our mouth, and some of them react with our saliva to form that white sticky film on our teeth known as plaque. The bacteria which causes cavities turns sugar into lactic acid, creating an acidic environment in your mouth, which leads to cavities and plaque. A study conducted in 2016 found that A12 strains of bacteria fight cavity-causing bacteria.
- Combat bad breath – Several studies have also revealed that probiotics are great in fighting bad breath. It is most often caused by the bacteria present in your mouth or gut. A study wherein people were given a probiotic with mouthwash showed that 85% of people using the probiotic got rid of bad breath. However, more research is required to prove the claim.
- Oral cancer prevention – Lactobacillus salivarius, a bacterium, helps in fighting oral cancer in rats. However, studies are still being conducted to see if it works equally efficiently on humans too.
- Treating gingivitis – Gingivitis is a gum disease that can become very severe. It is accompanied by tender, inflamed gums, along with sensitive teeth. A study conducted in 2016 suggests that probiotics are quite effective in preventing gingivitis. During the study, 59 people were given a probiotic bacterium called lactobacillus reuteri. The participants were asked to use it and return two weeks later. It showed that the symptoms significantly improved for that group who had taken the highest dose of the probiotics. They also had less plaque on their teeth.
- Alleviate gum inflammation – Researchers also suggest that probiotics are quite effective in reducing gum inflammation. People who used lactobacillus Brevis probiotics daily had decreased gum inflammation. Another study revealed that drinking probiotic milk can also help in reducing probiotic inflammation.
Add probiotic foods and supplements to your diet
You can either add probiotics naturally to your body through some foods or take the help of supplements. The latter is more effective, and sometimes that is what your body needs. Naturally, enriched and fermented foods are the best sources of probiotics, like –
- Sour cheese
- Enriched milk
- Sourdough bread
- Sour pickles
Probiotics are available in higher concentrations in supplements. You can take pills, powders, liquids, and even mouthwashes. Sometimes it is recommended to take probiotic supplements because higher concentrations work better in your body than natural food sources.
If you are at a high risk of infection and want to be extra cautious, you can go with these. However, always consult your dietician or doctor before you consume any supplement. Even though they offer many health benefits, it is essential to know the right type of probiotic for your requirements. Discuss your medical history with your doctor before taking the supplements. People with a high risk of infections due to conditions like HIV should not consume probiotic supplements. Children, senior citizens, and pregnant women should always take probiotics under the supervision of experienced doctors. Never exceed the recommended dosage, and understand the requirements before you go ahead to consume it.