Gut health is currently a popular topic, with a lot of information emerging about the impact of ‘gut bacteria’ on our health. Gut bacteria, known as the gut microbiome, is a colony of microorganisms which is involved in digestion, immunity and general wellbeing. We now know that there are also other colonies of microbiomes in different parts of the body, including the mouth.
The microbiome of the oral cavity is known as the oral microbiome and is complex and unique to each person.2 The oral microbiome helps to maintain health in not only the mouth but also in the rest of the body. An imbalance of the oral microbiome can cause issues like dental decay, or caries, and periodontitis, and is now also linked to other health issues.
The oral microbiome is the bacterial colony of the mouth. It helps to maintain oral and overall health.
A healthy oral microbiome
Just like the microbiome of the gut, the oral microbiome thrives in an environment of diversity and beneficial bacteria for good dental health. The oral microbiome contains bacteria, fungi, beneficial viruses and other microorganisms. A healthy oral microbiome produce biofilm, a cover or shield which protects the colony.
An unhealthy oral microbiome
Dybiosis of the oral microbiome describes a state where there is a lack of diversity or presence of harmful bacteria can cause dental issues and affects health beyond the mouth. While most oral bacteria is beneficial, too much harmful bacteria can contribute to dental degradation and periodontal disease.
A lack of diversity or harmful bacteria can cause an imbalance in your oral microbiome.
Get back into balance
If you have dental issues, oral inflammation, and other health concerns, your healthcare professional can help support you, in conjunction with your dentist, to improve your oral health.
● Tooth brushing and flossing twice a day
● Regular descaling at the dentist
● Quit smoking
● Improve immune function generally
● Address nutritional deficiencies
● Take a probiotic design to support the oral microbiome every day
● Reduce intake of sugar and sugary drinks
● Reduce consumption of highly acidic foods – e.g. soft drinks, some fruit juices, vinegar and dry wine
● Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fibre, minerals and vitamins
● Increase prebiotic and fibre consumption
● Increase intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids
Specific probiotics can help rebalance the oral microbiome and reduce the risk of dental issues.
The best probiotic for your mouth
There are specific probiotic strains that beneficially impact the oral microbiome and oral health. Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 and Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289 are two well researched probiotic strains that have been shown to have many positive effects on oral health and the oral microbiome.16-18 These Lactobacillus reuteri strains support the oral microbiome by:19
● Taking the place of potentially harmful bacteria
● Exerting antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal effects to kill off dysbiotic micro-organisms
● Promoting tooth mineralisation and remineralisation for healthier teeth
● Reducing oral inflammation
● Stimulating immune responses in the mouth and body
Clinically trialled support
The combination of L. reuteri DSM 17938 and L. reuteri PTA ATCC 5289 has been extensively trialled for support of oral health and found to have multiple benefits for:20-25
● Prevention and treatment of dental caries
● Reduction in dental plaque build-up
● Prevention and treatment of gingivitis and periodontal disease
● Prevention and treatment of bad breath
● Reduction of oral candidiasis
Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 and Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289 are only available through your healthcare practitioner. If you want to know more about improving the health of your oral microbiome contact your healthcare professional for a personalised treatment plan.
Supporting a healthy oral microbiome with the right probiotics could improve your oral and overall health. To find out more talk to your healthcare Practitioner today!