Dental probiotics or oral probiotics are made to benefit people with other mouth conditions or extra overall hygiene. People keep asking, do dental probiotics work? Yes, it does. There have been studies for over a decade about it and no harm was found against it. The microbiome is an environment of bacteria that settles microorganisms to fight and resist tooth caries and gum diseases.
In other words, good vs bad bacteria are always at war in our mouths to conquer the oral flora and see who sits on the throne and owns the crown.
Nonetheless, dental probiotics have only shown positive affection according to the medical community but with exceptions. Read more for a deeper point of view.
What are dental probiotics?
Probiotics are naturally found in your intestines and help everything stay balanced. It’s sometimes in the stomach too if your body is fighting an infection or if you’re ill.
How are dental probiotics different? And where do we get them from? you may ask. Generally, it comes in foods like probiotic yogurt products at your grocery store, bananas, tomatoes, and fermented food like sour pickles. And their main job is to keep your oral health safe from cavity development, decay, or gum infections.
Unfortunately, probiotics in natural sources are not in considerable amounts. And for that reason, there are dental probiotics provided in pharmacies in the shape of tablets, gummies, capsules, lozenges, or even powders.
Dental probiotics for bad breath
Having constant bad breath because of poor oral hygiene, diabetes, or infections in the gums, liver, or lungs is called halitosis.
It can also be caused by a fungal condition aka oral thrush. The most obvious oral thrush symptom is the growth of bad bacteria multiplied drastically and it can be visibly seen as a white liquid layer on the tongue.
Are you brushing your teeth, flossing, rinsing, and still suffering from chronic bad breath? Doctors recommend you take medications like L. Reuteri (Limosilactobacillus Reuteri) as the main source of treating bad breath.
Remember, dental probiotics are not the solution to the issue. It is only an additional supplement. Do not take tablets and forget about brushing or flossing, it would look like wiping dirty dishes with dry towels without cleaning them properly with a soapy sponge and water.
Are dental probiotics safe? What are the side effects of dental probiotics?
Studies show that it is almost 100% safe to use dental probiotics. There have been no side effects shown for people who have been using these supplements.
However, when shouldn’t you take these supplements? If you have issues with the immune system that are compromised by:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
You should not take any sort of dental probiotics. At the end of the day, talk to your doctor about it for your own safety.
Your mouth has millions of bacteria, some of them come with food consumption and you can think of them as a foreign force trying to invade your teeth and gums. Taking probiotics before or after eating is basically sending your army to defend your oral health. It fights back the bad bacteria and balances the oral bacteria.
Our mouths contain microorganisms, not all bacteria live forever, whether harmful or beneficial bacteria. Therefore tend to keep oral hygiene first to eliminate the bad bacteria, and then think of using dental probiotics to increase the good bacteria.
Aside from the known health benefits of it, taking care of dental health goes way beyond bad breath.
- Immune system:
Good oral health helps the young to grow with a stronger immune system.
- Digestive health:
Bad oral health will weaken the stomach to digest food and have problems with infections and which triggers the immune response and leads to cause IBD.
- Brain development:
Our mouths are full of bacteria, up to 7 digits. If bad bacteria take over the bloodstream, they can affect the brain and damage memory, and brain cells weaken.
- Heart disease:
Speaking of bloodstreams, all the blood recirculates and goes through blood; meaning that the infection can damage the heart valves
Possibility for the small particles to be inhaled from a mouth that’s full of bad bacteria. It can lead to cause difficulty breathing like asthma.
If you have problems with your kidneys already, oral infections will cause a book of complications. Inflammation-fighting infection rapidly with the immune system active all the time is considered not helpful.
Our bodies are very complicated and all connected together, simply having a daily oral cleaning routine will save you from a lot of other complications. The probiotic supplements will be working an extra shield or extra layer of protection.
How to take dental probiotics
Tablets are taken twice a day. Do not swallow it with water immediately like painkillers. Instead, keep it in your mouth.
Mainly, an adult takes 1 tablet a day after lunch. And for better results and replenishment, take 2-3 a day. After a meal, brush your teeth and only then take a tablet.
Do kids need them too? Is it any different for kids? Children are not aware of how and why teeth need to be cleaned. Although kids at younger ages have healthier mouths than adults, the sugar rush and sweets will always lead the way then resulting in causing cavities at an early age.
It is rough to force kids for daily oral hygiene, and it won’t be harmful to let your children have dental probiotics. In fact, there are special products just for kids with different nice flavors and there are chewable options too.
Take a close eye on the type of dental probiotics you purchase. Read the instructions on how to take it and when!
How to dissolve the dental probiotics tablets
Let it dissolve in your mouth. Do not drink water as if you are swallowing a normal pill.
It will do its job and cover your mouth with an army of good bacteria protecting your teeth and gums. And avoid eating for 30 minutes after fully swallowing the tablet.
When to use dental probiotics
Now that you know when not to take them, that doesn’t mean you can just take them whenever you want like gummy bears. There is no specific time to take them, it is up to you if you want to take an extra step on oral hygiene. You can live without them but it sure enhances your lifestyle positively and worry less about
- Tooth caries
- Oral thrush
- Bad breath
You should not take them if you have cancer but if it was oral cancer then it’s another story. The beneficial bacteria can be a potential inhibitory agent against oral cancer.
How long does it take for dental probiotics to work?
The effect of dental probiotics does not come instantly, patience is the key. You will see proper results after using them for a month, one in the morning and one at night before sleep. Just make sure to keep good oral hygiene and use them after brushing your teeth; it will help the good bacteria surround the surface and take control with no boundaries.
Do not disturb the good bacteria by eating or even brushing right after taking a tablet. It will distract and kill them practically, then it will not be as effective in the long term. Let the good guys settle in and take a position in the mouth for half an hour.
If the breath odor was being taken care of after the 30 days, lower the dose to one tablet for daily supplementation in the next month(s) before sleep, with the same routine for oral hygiene.
Results will come just like jogging. You will see the results in the long run. Just keep a good healthy constant routine.
Where can I buy dental probiotics?
Dental probiotics come in different shapes and forms, liquid, powder, and capsules. These types of products do not need a doctor’s prescription. They can be found in pharmacies but also in stores as well. You can shop online or if lucky enough in the local stores nearby your house.
But, what you do need is your doctor’s word and see if you have any allergies. If you do, your doctor will prevent any bumps on the road.
Are there any chewable dental probiotics?
Chewable tablets are effective and good for your oral health. It contains beneficial bacteria which help to loosen up the stickiness (plaque) of your teeth after eating meals.
Before considering spending money on the products, visit your doctor to see if you are allergic to any ingredients the product may contain.
Wan Mohd Kamaluddin WNF, Rismayuddin NAR, Ismail AF, et al. Probiotic inhibits oral carcinogenesis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2020;118:104855. doi:10.1016/j.archoralbio.2020.104855