A Clinical Study Shows Significant Periodontal Results from Oral Probiotic Lactobacillus Reuteri
There are multiple clinical studies on the use of oral probiotics in the treatment of periodontal disease. This 2013 study focused on the use of the oral probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri together with the standard and commonplace treatment of “Scaling and Root Planing” or as you probably know it, a deep cleaning. SRP is how your dentist or periodontist would first tackle heavy plaque build-up, deep gum pocket depths and gingivitis.
The question that the clinical researchers had was “Would the oral probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri be effective as an adjunct to a SRP treatment?”
This clinical test was the first to measure the benefit of combining a deep cleaning (SRP) with oral probiotics. A primary purpose of doing a deep cleaning (SRP) is to disrupt the growth of the pathological bacteria that is largely responsible for periodontal disease. The problem is that although SRP does a great job of disrupting the bacterial growth the stuff grows right back! So, the researchers were studying to see if a longer term and beneficial effect could be obtained by using oral probiotics as an adjunct to SRP.
The clinical study results were published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology in 2013 and conducted by several universities, two in Belgium and one in Turkey.
They tested two groups of chronic periodontitis patients, both groups received the SRP treatment, then one group took oral probiotics and the other took a placebo.
The patients were measured and monitored for such things as: probing pocket depth (how deep your gum pockets are), the gingival recession (the gingiva are basically your gums), the bleeding on probing and also measured for bacteria that were present in the mouths of each patient.
The patients were measured throughout the 12-week clinical test.
Results of Using Oral Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri along with a Deep Cleaning
While both groups saw improvement over the baseline (starting point measurements) the results showed significant improvement in the group that took oral probiotics over the group that took a placebo.
The group that took oral probiotics saw a significant reduction in pocket depth (meaning that the gums were attaching) and less bleeding on probing.
Using Oral Probiotics to Reduce the Future Risk of Periodontitis Disease Progression
Most interesting was the assessment done on all patients at the end of the trial to determine their future risk of “disease progression” and in the high risk group the numbers were 67% for the non-oral probiotics patients versus only 27% in the group that took oral probiotics. In the low risk group it was even more impressive as 60% of the oral probiotic users fell into the low risk group for future disease progression versus only a mere 13% for the non-users!
Moral of the story is that combining SRP with the use of oral probiotics is significantly better than just SRP alone, particularly if you want to avoid future treatments and improve your gum health.
And these results were measured after only 12 weeks and by using just with one oral probiotic, L. reuteri, so we will await any clinical studies that look at longer time periods and/or a blend of oral probiotic strains.
One of the reasons we built our Great Oral Health formulation with a total of seven strains of beneficial oral probiotics is that they each bring a benefit to your mouth and work synergistically for a healthier oral environment. We think that taking a daily oral probiotic supplement is preferable by far to ongoing deep cleanings, and more economical to boot!
The study can be found by search for: J Clin Periodontol 2013; 40: 1025–1035. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12155.