Janine Barlow BSc (Hons)

As we know, there is a lot of information now in the public domain on the use of probiotic supplements to gain a beneficial effect within the digestive tract. In recent years, there has been a lot of interest in the use of probiotics in maintaining good oral health and treating oral infections. Few studies have been conducted to date, but those that have been completed show that there is another vital role for probiotics in the longevity and quality of life.

The oral cavity harbours a diverse array of bacterial species, with Kazor & team in 2003 reporting that there are more than 600 species that colonise the oral cavity. This includes a lot of organisms that are not commonly known to reside in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, but also many that are more familiar; Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus salivarius. The balance of all these microorganisms can easily be disturbed and a prevalence of pathogenic organisms can lead to various oral health problems including dental caries, periodontitis and halitosis.

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