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Probiotics: can they be used to improve oral health?

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The role of probiotic bacteria in improving human health has been an attractive subject for researchers since the beginning of the 20th century. They have been used to control gastro-intestinal infections, to promote immunity and to prevent various diseases (allergies, urogenital infections, etc.). However, the use of beneficial bacteria in the field of dentistry has only recently gained interest. Investigation of the effects of probiotic bacteria on oral health has become an important research subject. These studies are still in the early stages, however results show that probiotic bacteria are effective against tooth caries, periodontal disease, oral mucosal lesions and oral malodour. This review provides information on the effects of probiotics – well-known for their effects on general health, and therefore more widely used in healthcare – on oral and dental health, in order to promote their use/prescription by physicians and patients.

Keywords: Lactobacillus; Streptococcus mutans; lactic acid bacteria; oral cavity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 15, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Beneficial Microbes is a peer-reviewed scientific journal with a specific area of focus: the promotion of the science of microbes beneficial to the health and wellbeing of man and animal. The journal contains original research papers and critical reviews in all areas dealing with beneficial microbes in both the small and large intestine, together with opinions, a calendar of forthcoming beneficial microbes-related events and book reviews. The journal takes a multidisciplinary approach and focuses on a broad spectrum of issues, including safety aspects of pro- & prebiotics, regulatory aspects, mechanisms of action, health benefits for the host, optimal production processes, screening methods, (meta)genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, host and bacterial physiology, application, and role in health and disease in man and animal. Beneficial Microbes is intended to serve the needs of researchers and professionals from the scientific community and industry, as well as those of policy makers and regulators.
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