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Probiotics and Good Oral Health

Consider your mouth an open battle of good vs. evil, replete with heroes and villains. The salivarius bacteria are the “good guys” with the job of keeping the “bad guys,” the mutans bacteria, at bay. At stake is your oral health and the prevention of such common conditions as tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease).

The good bacteria is supported by good oral health practices and now, according to recent studies, the use of probiotics. The trick is keeping the bad bacteria in check by preventing it from colonizing on the surface of the teeth and breaking down the enamel.

Probiotics are microorganisms (like bacteria or yeast) that have shown to improve digestive health and may offer benefits in terms of oral health as well. They are available in such products as gum, mints, lozenges, toothpaste and mouthwash. These probiotic bacteria cause the bad bacteria to stick to teeth, making it easier to brush, floss or rinse away.

It is estimated that 80 percent of adults suffer from either gingivitis, tooth decay, cavities and/or periodontitis. The theory is that by using probiotic supplements in addition to brushing and flossing regularly and seeing the dentist several times a year, you can help the good bacteria in your mouth and lessen the chance of disease occurring.

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