In the last few years there has been much research and many studies in the use and benefits of taking probiotics. The first areas of study had been primarily for intestinal health. Now many studies are indicating that taking proper amounts of probiotics will also help to prevent or control periodontal disease.
I found the article below on the Livestrong website.
PROBIOTICS & PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Aug 21, 2011 | By Ryan Devon on LiveStrong website
Periodontal disease — also called gum disease — is a common oral health problem that affects approximately three in four adults living in the United States, according to statistics from the Ohio Dental Hygienists’ Association website. Nutrition plays an important role in the development and treatment of periodontal disease. Probiotics are a component of food that may help combat periodontal disease in certain individuals.
Periodontal disease is caused by a bacterial infection that leads to inflammation. If left untreated, periodontal disease can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Common risk factors for periodontal disease include tobacco use, poor oral health habits, chronic disease and family history of the same.
Probiotics are specific strains of bacteria that live inside of your intestinal tract. While many types of bacteria can cause illness or infection, probiotic strains actually promote good health. The many benefits of probiotics include reduction of diarrhea, reduced risk of urinary tract infections and shortened duration of colds, according to MayoClinic.com.
A research study published in the October 2008 “Journal of Clinical Periodontology” investigated the effect of a probiotic strain known as Lactobacillus salivarius on a group of 66 research subjects at high risk of periodontal disease. The study found that daily tablets of this probiotic strain taken for eight weeks significantly improved gum health and reduced the infiltration of bacteria in the gums. Probiotics work by competing with periodontal disease-causing bacteria for food and space. Lactobacillus also produce natural antibiotics, which help combat bad bacteria in the mouth.
The most common sources of probiotics from food include kefir, yogurt and fermented soy products such as tempeh. As with any dietary supplement, check with your Doctor or Naturopath before taking probiotics. Other ways to reduce your risk of periodontal disease include quitting smoking, brushing and flossing regularly and having your teeth scaled (cleaned) regularly. If you suspect that you already have or want to prevent periodontal disease, see a Registered Dental Hygienist.