Supplements and Probiotics for Oral Health - Do They Help?
When it comes to oral health, most of us think in terms of isolated issues we’re trying to prevent - cavities, periodontal disease, and even bad breath. But now there is mounting research that the oral microbiome plays an equally important role in preserving whole body health as well.1
But aside from kicking your candy and soda habit and proper oral hygiene, it is possible that certain supplements and probiotics can support oral health.*
Can supplements and probiotics support a healthy mouth? Read on to find out.
Why Does Oral Health Matter?
More than 700 species of bacteria have been detected in the oral cavity. Many of these bacteria are harmless, but just as it is in the gut, some can be damaging to health. If these bad guys travel downwards towards the gut and other internal organs, it can lead to illness and disease.2,3
Probiotics for Oral Health
Oral probiotics are specific strains of bacteria that may support a healthy mouth.* Based on recent research, it appears probiotics have a promising role in dental health. And since health starts in the mouth, improving oral health has the potential to support health throughout the entire body.
Oral-specific probiotics come in a variety of strains. Studies also suggest probiotics have the ability to create biofilms which support oral health and block can harmful bacteria from reaching the tooth enamel.*4,5
More research is still needed, but there seems to be an emerging connection between probiotics and oral health.
Supplements for Oral Health
There are also certain vitamins and minerals that support a healthy mouth, which can be found in food or supplement form.*
Calcium is perhaps one of the most well researched minerals for oral health. It helps to strengthen tooth enamel, your body’s best defense against tooth erosion and cavities.*6
Phosphorus is another electrolyte and essential mineral for your mouth. It helps to keep your teeth and jawbones strong and functional, supporting the health of your entire oral cavity.* It also assists in calcium absorption.7
Vitamin D has received increased attention for its role in oral health. It plays a role in protecting tooth enamel and promoting mineralization.* Adequate vitamin D levels in the body are associated with better oral health throughout life.*8
Vitamin A deficiency is associated with oral problems. It aids in the development of oral mucosal tissue, otherwise known as the inner layer of the oral cavity.*9
These nutrients are also found in fish, fish oil, leafy greens, bell pepper, mushrooms, nuts, beans, and dairy. If you’re concerned you may not be getting enough of these foods, ask your doctor about checking your vitamin levels.
Health Starts in the Mouth
Giving your oral microbiome some TLC will pay dividends in terms of the health of your entire microbiome. In addition to following a healthy diet and caring for your teeth and gums, certain probiotics and precision supplements may support oral health.*
Be sure to visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings, and ask them if supplements can support your oral health needs.
Deo PN, Deshmukh R. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2019 Jan-Apr;23(1):122-128. doi: 10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_304_18. PMID: 31110428; PMCID: PMC6503789.
Aas JA, Paster BJ, Stokes LN, Olsen I, Dewhirst FE. J Clin Microbiol. 2005 Nov;43(11):5721-32. doi: 10.1128/JCM.43.11.5721-5732.2005. PMID: 16272510; PMCID: PMC1287824.
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Forwood, D.L., Bryce, E.K., Caro, E. et al.Appl Microbiol Biotechnol104, 8825–8836 (2020). doi.org/10.1007/s00253-020-10877-5
Krall, E.A. (2006). Weaver, C.M., Heaney, R.P. (eds) Calcium in Human Health. Nutrition and Health. Humana Press. doi.org/10.1007/978-1-59259-961-5_20
Fiyaz M, Ramesh A, Ramalingam K, Thomas B, Shetty S, Prakash P. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2013 Jul;17(4):454-60. doi: 10.4103/0972-124X.118316. PMID: 24174724; PMCID: PMC3800407.
Botelho J, Machado V, Proença L, Delgado AS, Mendes JJ. Nutrients. 2020 May 19;12(5):1471. doi: 10.3390/nu12051471. PMID: 32438644; PMCID: PMC7285165.
Cagetti MG, Wolf TG, Tennert C, Camoni N, Lingström P, Campus G. T. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 3;17(3):938. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17030938. PMID: 32028631; PMCID: PMC7037089.