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Probiotic Supplement Shown To Be Effective in Treating Gum Disease

Gum disease can be hard to combat and has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, myocardial infarction and atherosclerosis. A recent study found that sucking on a lozenge containing the probiotic supplement lactobacillus reuteri improved the treatment efficacy of the gum disease periodontitis by as much as 53% - approximately as much as taking prescription antibiotics.

Participants in the study included 30 individuals with chronic periodontitis. After undergoing a full mouth disinfection and scaling and root planing, they were given either a probiotic lozenge or a placebo lozenge twice daily for three months.

At the conclusion of the trial, both groups had improvements in all clinical parameters of periodontitis but the probiotic group had reduced pocket depth and a higher reduction in the bacteria P. gingivalis when compared with the placebo. Participants in the probiotic group with deep dental pockets showed 53% fewer sites at the end of the supplementation period.

Additionally, at the end of the study, 67% of the participants in the control group were at a high risk for disease progression while only 26.7% of the probiotic group fell under that category.

Researchers from the Catholic University Leuven in Belgium and Cukurova University in Turkey conducted the study. It has been accepted by but not yet published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Lactobacillus reuteri is a specific strain of probiotic that needs to be released in the mouth, making lozenges a particularly effective way to introduce it to the human body. Previous studies have linked it with improved symptoms of diarrhea, improved symptoms of urinary tract infections, a lower risk of ulcers."

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