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Bacteria That is Good For Your Gums

Taking just a single shot of a probiotic milk drink may protect you from gum disease according to a study published in the October 2009 issue of The Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums with symptoms including bleeding gums, swollen gums and tenderness to touch.

The parallel-designed non-blinded study included 50 volunteer students.

Half of the volunteers drank 65 ml daily of a popular probiotic milk drink for 8 weeks. For every 100 ml, the patented drink contains 100 billion units of a probiotic bacteria called Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota. The remaining participants were simply monitored and given nothing.

By the end of the 8 weeks, the researchers observed no difference between the two groups in plaque levels and bleeding of the gums.

However, when they analyzed the fluid between the gum and the tooth, which is where the first signs of gum disease occur, they found some very interesting results.

The participants that consumed the probiotic drink had lower levels of elastase, an enzyme linked to inflammation. They also had lower levels of MMP-3, an enzyme which increases when inflammation occurs.

In addition, they had lower levels of some markers for oxidation, implying a beneficial effect of probiotic milk on dental health.

Further studies with larger populations are necessary to verify these findings but an increasing number of companies are looking at incorporating these friendly bacteria into gum and mints.

Probiotics have received much attention for their ability to prevent and treat a large range of gut problems and gastrointestinal disorders. They have also been shown to boost the immune system, delay the development of allergies and help children avoid the flu.

If you want to boost probiotic levels in your body, try consuming more foods like yogurt and cultured milk products. You can also try incorporating a quality probiotic supplement into your diet. Make sure the supplement contains several probiotic strains and is packaged to block light, air, and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.

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