Oral Health and Probiotics
Oral flora refers to a group of bacteria found in normal conditions in the oral cavity, balancing each other.
In a mouth that is very clean, the number of bacteria on a tooth is between 100 million and 1 billion. The population balance of oral microflora is provided by colonization resistance. Disruption of this equilibrium leads to ecological shift. The majority of oral dental diseases arise from ecological shifts in oral biofilms. The factors that lead to the transition of microflora from healthy to diseased conditions can be listed as the presence of different bacteria and the change in the ratio of Gram-positive bacteria to Gram negatives, the increase in specific species, the change in virulence factors of bacteria, the changes in immunoreactivity of the host due to genetic susceptibility, environmental factors, and age.
Probiotics are indigestible food that specifically activates the growth and activity of one or limited types of bacteria that are already present in mouth and intestines, providing beneficial effects to the host, helping to improve the health.
These friendly bacteria called probiotics have great significance for health. The probiotics which are frequently heard in recent years are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of the oral and intestinal flora. The largest group and the best known of these probiotic bacteria are Lactobacillus Acidophilus that is found in yogurt. For instance, antibiotics kill bacteria that cause disease as well as the good-beneficial bacteria present in the mouth and intestines. The resulting proliferation of harmful bacteria causes problems. The beneficial bacteria can be replaced by probiotic supplementation, preventing problems arising from reduced beneficial flora due to antibiotic use or other cause.
Scientific studies show that presence of this microflora in our mouth helps us in protection from disease. Probiotics act by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria while reducing the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth. They help protect and restore the natural balance of good bacteria in the mouth. In general, they help to heal inflammation of gums, prevent tooth decay and strengthen the immune system.