The oral microbiota is composed of all the microorganisms that inhabit the oral cavity. The mouth is the gateway to the digestive tract and is one of the parts of the human body with the highest density of microorganisms, with an estimated 700 to 1000 species in the different spaces that make up the mouth (dental surfaces, gingival sulcus, tongue, mucosa, palate, gums and saliva). There is a great diversity of microbial types, such as bacteria, fungi and viruses, which constitute the so-called oral microbiome, with bacteria being the predominant group. These are in planktonic form (suspended in saliva), as well as adhered to the different oral surfaces where they form biofilms (or biofilms), such as dental plaque.
The specific microbiota of the mouth directly and indirectly influences the functioning, nutrition and defense systems of the organism and also acts as a barrier to colonization by other potentially pathogenic microorganisms. Therefore, the oral microbiota is considered an important part of the body’s innate defenses.
In terms of composition, the oral microbiome is generally similar in all individuals, although each individual harbors a unique species composition that differentiates it from the rest. The composition of this oral microbiome changes over time, from birth to adulthood. It will also be affected by different physiological and environmental conditions that can lead to different oral pathologies.
A healthy oral microbiome can reduce rates of caries, periodontal disease, oral candidiasis and bad breath. Dysbiosis (imbalance) of the oral microbiome can lead to inflammation and an increased risk of any disease of the mouth.
Balancing the oral microbiome also has benefits beyond your mouth. Healthy microbial colonies in the mouth can reduce the risk of many systemic diseases. A dysbiotic oral microbiome is associated with problems such as: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, miscarriages, low birth weight, obesity, Alzheimer’s, COPD, pneumonia, there are specific strains of oral microbes associated with each of these diseases. With predictive testing, you can even evaluate the presence of these in your mouth and identify if you are at increased risk for these diseases.
Maintaining this balance in the oral cavity prevents strains of pathogenic microorganisms that are responsible for all diseases of the oral cavity, as well as all those pathogens that have been implicated in other diseases of the organism, from thriving.
What are oral or dental probiotics?
Oral or dental probiotics are specific strains of bacteria known to maintain a healthy mouth and improve oral health. They promote the growth of good bacteria and stop the growth of bad (pathogenic) bacteria, act in a similar way to intestinal probiotics in that they use good (commensal) bacteria to improve health, but are even more effective, as they are administered directly into the mouth through lozenges, chewable tablets, mouthwashes, milk or probiotic drinks. Oral probiotic supplements deliver these bacterial strains directly into the mouth so that they can colonize the surfaces of the mouth and form biofilms, as well as stimulate the oral immune system.
Oral probiotics are usually prescribed in all those patients presenting with oral dysbiosis (imbalance between good and bad microorganisms), can be used as prevention, have little or no side effects, are fully approved strains within the European regulatory framework.
What are the benefits of dental probiotics?
Oral or dental probiotics can prevent or treat most oral diseases, such as:
- Oral Candidiasis
- Bad breath
- Respiratory infections
The bacteria we introduce in oral probiotics can create biofilms to replace those created by pathogenic bacteria. These new biofilms maintain the health of teeth and gums by preventing harmful bacteria from establishing a foothold in the enamel or gums causing disease.