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This Strain of Probiotic May Help With Gum Disease

Periodontitis or inflammation of the gums and tissue around the teeth affects more than half of adult Americans. A recent study suggests that the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri may help in the treatment of periodontitis.

The researchers searched electronic databases for randomized controlled trials that compared scale and root planing with probiotic treatment versus scale and root planing alone. Of the four trials initially identified, three were used in the analysis.

After examining the data, the researchers found that supplementation with the probiotic L. reuteri was effective for short-term treatment of periodontitis, especially in deep pockets. The use of the probiotic supplementation resulted in improvements in measures of clinical manifestation and determinant of periodontal disease and reduced bleeding on probing in the short term.

The researchers that more extensive research should be done in order to determine the exact effects of L. reuteri on periodontitis.

Researchers from the University of Strasbourg conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 11, 2016, in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Probiotics are most commonly known for improving digestion and gut health, but they have also been linked to other health benefits including weight loss, a stronger immune system, and a reduced risk of chronic disease. Lactobacillus reuteri is a specific strain of probiotic that has been linked in previous studies with improved symptoms of diarrhea, improved symptoms of urinary tract infections and a lower risk of ulcers.

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