The use of probiotics as a treatment for chronic periodontitis

Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease that affects the tissues surrounding the tooth, called the periodontium. If it is not diagnosed in time and an effective treatment is not used, the affected tooth can be lost, and in some more serious cases, it can cause problems in the general health of the patient.
Periodontitis is a multifactorial disease, that is, it is determined by more than one factor, but the main causes are the bacteria found in bacterial plaque and tartar. It is also generated by tobacco, genetics, diabetes and hormones.

Bacteria accumulate at the base of the teeth together with food debris, forming bacterial plaque that later becomes tartar. Over time, this tartar leads to inflammation of the gum, known as gingivitis. Gingivitis causes the gum to swell and bleed. As it becomes inflamed, the gum separates from the root of the tooth producing a gap where periodontal pockets are created. These pockets fill with tartar and bacterial plaque creating even more infection which, if prolonged over time, damages the tissues and bone supporting the tooth. As the bone supporting the tooth becomes damaged, they begin to move, or even fall out if left untreated.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are supplements or foods that include live microorganisms that enhance the normal microbiota, i.e. the good bacteria in our body.

How do probiotics help treat chronic periodontitis?

Since the main cause of periodontitis is the bacteria found in tartar, the most effective way is to remove the tartar, either supragingival or subgingival. In doing so, the bacteria that live in it are also eliminated. Once the cleaning is done, the area should be kept clean and healthy.
However, there are cases in which, having removed all the tartar, the gums are still swollen and reddish, as the periodontal pockets are still active. This is because our bacterial flora is not balanced. The balance of the oral flora protects us from diseases of the mouth, but if it is unbalanced, there are pathogenic bacteria. This is why swelling and bleeding occur, even if the tartar has been completely removed.

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When there is an imbalance of the oral bacterial flora, the treatment for periodontitis should be carried out with probiotics. These have to be specific and contain the beneficial bacteria for the organism. They are usually administered orally, after having eliminated the pathogenic bacteria from the periodontal pockets with a laser in the dentist’s office. In this way, the probiotics supplied are captured in the best way and thus optimally improve periodontal health.