A leading cause of tooth decay results from bad bacteria that produce lactic acid. Known to scientists as Streptococcus mutans, or S. mutans, these bugs thrive on refined sugars, leaving behind the lactic acid that erodes tooth enamel.
Brushing your teeth with toothpaste recommended by the American Dental Association is the tried and true method for fighting tooth decay.
According to scientists, probiotics may also play a role in combatting tooth decay. As research increasingly reveals the inner workings of the microbiome within our mouths, scientists are finding that blends of beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus may provide extra protection for teeth.
Whether for teeth or gut health, many Americans haven’t yet taken advantage of the beneficial boost of probiotics, according to recent data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
We appreciate your help in sharing the research studies highlighted in our blogs as we work to increase public understanding of the role of bacteria in our bodies and the ways in which probiotic supplements can enhance overall health.
Before we get into recent studies on combating tooth decay with probiotics, let’s take a closer look at the state of dental health in the United States:
- 91 percent of young adults (ages 20-64) showed signs of tooth decay. Among those, 27 percent went untreated.
- 96 percent of seniors older than 64 suffered from tooth decay, while 18.6 percent experienced complete loss of their teeth.
- Two-thirds of adolescents (ages 16-19) had dental decay.
- 40 percent of children (ages 6-11) had dental sealants on at least one permanent tooth.
- 43 percent of adolescents (ages 12-19) also had sealants.
As parents, tooth decay can be hard to detect in your children. Other than a toothache or some sensitivity, if you and your children aren’t seeing a dentist regularly or following proper dental hygiene, you’re probably not aware of any problems.
Treating Young Teeth With Probiotics
Fortunately, probiotics containing proprietary blends of Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus (two strains of beneficial bacteria found in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and EndoMune Advanced Junior) may provide some extra protection for young teeth.
A group of scientists from a pair of dental schools in India examined the effect of both bacteria on 60 children (ages 6-12) who had no dental problems, in a recent study appearing in the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research.
Scientists took saliva samples from the kids, measuring levels of Streptococcus mutans, a contributor to tooth decay. Then, the children were divided into two groups, with one receiving a placebo, while the other group ate ice cream containing both strains of beneficial bacteria for seven days.
Based on saliva samples taken after seven and 30 days, respectively, the group that consumed the probiotic ice cream had reduced amounts of Streptococcus mutans, compared to the placebo group.
Not only can these probiotics strengthen your child’s immune system, but they can reduce episodes of diarrhea and colic. They provide a range of benefits apart from combating tooth decay.
Probiotics, particularly multi-species products like EndoMune Advanced Junior, can do a world of good for young children as it gives your child’s immune system the boost it needs.