The mouth harbours its own unique microbiome
Most people are aware that the gastrointestinal tract contains a community of bacteria and other micro-organisms, called the microbiome; but did you know that the mouth also harbours its own unique microbiome?
Oral bacteria play an important role in maintaining oral and systemic health and the latest research shows that if the oral microbiome becomes imbalanced, dental caries and periodontal disease can occur. An imbalance in your mouth’s microbiome can also have negative effects on your overall health and wellbeing.
What is the microbiome? It is the bacteria and other microorganisms found in a specific environment, such as the human intestine or mouth. These microbiomes play an important part in maintaining human health.
How the oral microbiome affects systemic health
An imbalance in the oral microbiome has been implicated in a number of systemic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, inflammatory bowel disease, and colorectal cancer, respiratory tract infections, appendicitis, and diabetes. Poor oral health has also been shown to have negative consequences for both mother and baby during pregnancy. Oral bacteria contribute to these conditions either through direct infection of distant body sites or through interactions with the immune system.
Probiotics support a healthy oral microbiome
We can also influence the oral microbiome directly by consuming certain probiotics. The use of probiotics can improve oral health; however, these effects are only seen with specific probiotic strains, so it is important to choose probiotics that have been proven to be beneficial.
Probiotics are live bacteria that convey a health benefit when consumed.
Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 and Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289 reduce numbers of pathogenic oral bacteria that cause dental caries and periodontal disease. Furthermore, consumption of these strains has reduced the occurrence of dental caries, and improved clinical features and outcomes of gingivitis and periodontitis in scientific studies.
Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 and Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289 rebalance the oral microbiome and can help reduce the numbers of pathogenic oral bacteria that cause dental caries and periodontal disease.
Take care of your mouth to support long-term wellbeing
In addition to taking a good probiotic, other things you can do to support the health of your oral microbiome include:
- Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily;
- Eating a healthy diet that is low in sugar and acidic foods such as soft drinks; and
- Avoiding smoking, which damages the oral microbiome significantly.
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!