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Watch more in-depth discussion on Probiotics as we interview one of the experts in regards to this subject. Learn thoroughly its features and benefits it can bring into your dental practice.
WHAT IS PROBIOTIC?
We have often heard the harmful effects of microorganisms that reside in biofilm not only when we discuss infection control in our dental clinic but also those that resides in our own body. However, not all bacteria are harmful, as the saying goes not all things are created equal. This is what Russian microbiologist named Elie Metchnikoff discovered, won a Nobel Prize for and became the father of Modern Immunology. "The Prolongation of Life" book that he had written in 1907 shows a study about a diet containing milk fermented with Lactobacilli which produced large amount of lactic acid that can actually increase the lifespan of humans. On his discovery, we have progress in learning that most of bacteria are commensal, some can be beneficial if we develop the right balance in the environment. Lilley and Stillwell in 1965 proposed the term "probiotic" as opposed to "antibiotic" as the first probiotic species, Lactobacillus acidophilus, was introduced in the research of beneficial bacteria. It took awhile to be able to exactly provide a definition on Probiotics. In 2002, they defined Probiotics as live microorganism which when consumed in adequate amount can provide a good healthy effect to the host, wherever it maybe, such as the mouth, gut,skin or women's vagina.
Since we are in the dental profession, let's delve in more to Probiotics features and its benefits to the oral health. Its advantages that can address the oral diseases caused by bad bacteria, fungus and virus found in the biofilm in our oral cavity:
PROBIOTICS BATTLING DENTAL CARIES
Dental Caries is a disease cause by bacterial origin. The bacterias releases organic acid which causes the deminiralization of the tooth. Probiotics help in preventing dental carries by disrupting the growth of cariogenic bacteria. These microbes compete for binding sites of other bacteria for nutrients and resources. Probiotic have an antimicrobial property for the oral tissues and saliva thus inhibiting disease causing bacterias. Probiotics are available from different food and medium. Incorporating probiotics into dairy products lies in their capacity to neutralize acidic conditions.
For example, it has already been reported that cheese prevents demineralization of the enamel and promotes its remineralization.
Comellis et al discovered that Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus had a high capacity to antagonize important oral pathogens , including Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis. While Petti et al reported that yogourt containing S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus had selective bactericidal effects on streptococci mutans.
Several clinical studies have demonstrated that regular consumption of yogourt, milk or cheese containing probiotics led to a decrease in the number of cariogenic streptococci in the saliva and reduction in dental plaque.
PROBIOTICS BATTLING INFLAMMATION
Many probiotic bacteria communicate with the immune response in the mouth. This is beneficial in gum to lessen the inflammation. Probiotics can reduce harmful immune response. They also make the immune system more efficient at removing the inbalances. Probiotic can be applied, as an adjunct to scaling and root planing. As it inhibits the recolonization periodontal pathogens which can help in maintainenance of periodontal health.
Probiotic can mimic periodontal pathogens to create an epithelium barrier by maintaining a tight protein junction expression but without periodontal destruction. The anti-plaque activity of probiotic can cause:
- Reduce adhesion of bacteria in the tooth surface
- Inhibits the formation plaque matrix in the intracellular level
- Modifies plaque biochemistry to reduce the formation of cytotoxic product
- Modifies plaque ecology to a less pathogenic flora
Different good bacterias contribute in factor of preventing periodontits. Krasse et al, discovered the application of L. Reuteri inhibits the growth of P. Gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia thus reduces gingivitis and gingival bleeding.
While Riccia et al, discovered L. brevis anti- inflammatory effect on chronic periodontitis and L. Helveticus which produces short peptides that act on osteoblasts to increase their activity in bone formation.These bioactive peptides contribute by reducing the bone resorption associated with periodontitis.
PROBIOTICS BATTLING UNTOWARD ORAL CONDITIONS
1. Prevents Halitosis
Halitosis 'aka' Bad breath is a condition when the breath has an unpleasant odor. Halitosis has many causes (including consumption of particular foods, metabolic disorders, respiratory tract infections), but in most cases it is associated with an im-balance of the commensal microflora of the oral cavity. More specifically, halitosis results from the action of an-aerobic bacteria that degrade salivary and food proteins to generate amino acids.
Kang et al, discovered the effect of W. Cibaria. Weisella Cibaria a gram positive facultative anaerobic lactic acid, secretes significant amount of hydrogen peroxide and acts as bacteriocin against gram positive bacteria.
Periodontal disease is a major cause of tooth loss in humans and is one of the most prevalent diseases associated with bone loss. Following bacterial colonization, the gingiva becomes inflamed leading, in some cases, to the destruction of the alveolar bone. Periodontitis has two distinct but interconnected etiologic components: periodontopathic bacteria adjacent to the periodontal tissues, and host-mediated connective tissue-destructive responses to the causative bacteria and their metabolic products (Golub et al, 1998). Treatment strategies against periodontal diseases have evolved with the aim of eliminating specific pathogens or suppressing destructive host response. It has shown that by doing 3 logical steps of prevention:
- Thorough cleaning of teeth and root surfaces
- Kill bacteria in pockets and tongue fissures in case of halitosis)
- Stimulate the biofilm with positive bacteria with probiotics that can greatly provide the avoidance or development of periodontal diseases or gingivitis.
In conclusion, probiotics have made a breakthrough in the oral health care and are more likely to be our friend than our enemy. Despite our knowledge of pathogens, host interactions and the role of beneficial bacteria, the prevention of pathogenic species the oral health remains obscure . There is a great need for further studies of oral probiotics in identifying beneficial bacteria and to conduct large scale to futher deepen the studies on the usefulness of probiotics to maintain or improve oral health .
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CONTACT OF KJR DENTAL Center
Address: KJR Dental Center Unit 1 & 2, Verdant Acres. Subd., Pamplona 3, Las Pinas City Manila, Philippines
Contact #: +63 28 8553 3269
Dr. Jean Galindez - Editor | Writer
Dr. Bryan Anduiza - Writer
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