Oral Probiotic May Help Reduce Plaque Accumulation in Teeth
If plaque on teeth isn’t removed regularly through brushing and flossing, it can accumulate, harden, and migrate down the length of the tooth. This can inflame the gums and cause the condition known as gingivitis. A recent study has found that probiotic supplementation may help reduce plaque accumulation.
There were 31 healthy adult participants in the study. They were given a lozenge containing the probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 or a placebo daily for 4 weeks, followed by a 2-week washout period. Participants were told to brush their teeth twice a day with toothpaste that did not contain antibacterial or antiplaque ingredients.
The researchers assessed plaque buildup, the existence and extent of gingivitis, salivary IgA levels, and salivary flow rate were assessed at week-4 and at the end of the washout period.
Participants in the probiotic group saw a significant decrease in plaque accumulation at week-4 and week-6. No changes were seen in the placebo group.
No changes were seen in salivary IgA levels, an indicator of oral health and disease. No changes were seen in salivary flow rate either, which is an indicator of oral health maintenance.
The study was conducted by researchers from I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University. It was published online ahead of print on March 7, 2022 in the journal Nutrients.
A previous study found that Streptococcus salivarius K12 may help support the immune system.