Tell me about....Oral Pro-Biotics
What are Oral Pro-Biotics?
Most people will have heard about pro-biotics by now, usually found in yoghurts or drinks and used to balance the “good” bacteria in the digestive system.
What does this have to do with my teeth?
Everyone’s mouths are awash with over 500 different species of bacteria, known as the microbiome, some of these are beneficial to the body while some are quite harmful. We clean our teeth and gums every day to remove the harmful bacteria that has collected around the teeth and gum margins which we call “plaque”.
Under a microscope plaque looks like this:
Plaque is a complex colony of different species of bacteria, these bacteria can talk to each other and encourage other species to join them. As the plaque thickens the bacteria feeds on sugars and carbohydrates and excrete acids, acids which over time erode away tooth enamel and causes cavities.
Your body’s immune system realizes it is under attack and floods the area with blood and white blood cells, causing gums to swell up and become red, tender and bleed easily when touched or brushed. This is known as gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. Around 98% of the population suffer from gum disease to some degree.
Unfortunately, in some of the population, approximately 10-20% this defensive reaction also damages the gum and supporting tissues, leading to periodontal disease. Because this disease is relatively painless, people may not know there is a problem until it is too late and their teeth have become loose!
So, why pro-biotics?
Our Dental Hygienist Rachael, is expert at caring for your oral health and showing you the best techniques to keep your mouth healthy.
During your appointment she will show you areas of plaque and inflammation and teach you how to reverse the diseased areas back to health. She will then use an ultra-sonic scaler and thorough polishing to remove the plaque and hard tartar that have formed around the teeth.
After removing the collections of harmful bacteria pro-biotic rinses can be used to quickly enhance the microbiome. Pro-biotics contain 2 types of bacteria known to keep the mouth healthy, Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus uberis, and Streptococcus rattus. These adhere to the tooth and tissue surfaces, creating a healthy oral environment and leaving harmful bacteria homeless.
You can purchase lozenges to keep up this healthy balance between visits.
Who would benefit from oral pro-biotics?
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