Probiotics for Oral Health
|Probiotics for Oral Health||Darrell Miller||01/12/16|
January 12, 2016 06:39 PM
Author: Darrell Miller
Subject: Probiotics for Oral Health
Bacteria usually makes people think of organisms that cause disease. The truth is that there are countless types of bacteria and while some of them do cause disease, there are millions of bacteria that are beneficial to the body. For optimum health, the body should consist of about 85% healthy bacteria.
These healthy bacteria help with;
- Protection against colonization of unhealthy bacteria such as Candida.
- Nutrient and vitamin absorption.
- Protection from allergies.
Sourcing Healthy Bacteria
The information that the human body is dependent on good bacteria for healthy functionality only recently came out and with it came a plethora of food products designed to promote the growth of healthy bacteria such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.
Food that are good for the production of healthy bacteria in the body are called probiotics. Fermented foods such as yogurt, miso and sauerkraut are great probiotics however these food have to be unpasteurized as the pasteurization process kills all of the bacteria in food, both good and bad.
While most bacteria is present inside people's guts, there are some that occur both in the intestinal tract and the mouth. Streptococcus salivarius is a major member of the microbes that make up the healthy bacteria inside of a person's mouth.
The Colonization of S. Salivarius in the Mouth
Oral Streptococci are one of the first bacteria to colonize the mouths of newborn humans. For bacteria to colonize the mouth, it must first avoid the body's natural defenses against colonization from foreign microbes and resist the forces of saliva. To resist these forces, streptococci have developed adhesives that interact with the exposed areas of the mouth to keep them securely fastened to the area that they wish to colonize.
There are two main types of surfaces in the mouth. These are the hard and non-shedding surfaces of the teeth, and soft tissues whose surfaces have cells that are constantly being replaced such as the tongue and cheeks. S. mutans and S. Sangunins have tropisms that enable them to stick to the surfaces of the teeth while S. Salivarius has adapted tropisms that enable it to adhere onto the soft tissues.
All of these areas of the mouth are constantly coated with saliva. Saliva provides a variety of molecules that are ideal for streptococcal bacteria to interact with and adhere to. The thin films of saliva within the mouth vary in thickness and chemical composition at different points. Therefore different locations in the mouth consist of saliva that has more or less favorable receptors to the adherance properties of streptococci. For example, streptococci located on chips in teeth exhibit varied properties in their ability to bind to salivary proteins in those locations.
Streptococcus and Healthy Mouths
Streptococci's process of colonization makes it difficult for pathogenic bacteria to stick to the host. With the emergence of the knowledge that bacteria in the mouth promotes health, new strains of S. Salivarius such as K12 and K18 have been developed to help fight oral health problems that people deal with every day. These probiotics are designed as mouth washes that a person gargles for direct application. Once there, these probiotics create bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances called Salivaricin A and Salivaricin B that have the ability to fight infection.
Maladies Treated by S. Salivarius
Tonsil Stones: Tonsil stones are produced by the unchecked accumulation of bacteria that produce sulfur. The debris created by this bacteria then accumulates in the tonsils. Oral probiotics break down these unwanted globs.
Bad Breath: When the body sleeps the brain sends signals to the mouth to reduce its production of saliva. The reduction of saliva turns the mouth into an environment that is more favorable to the growth of bacteria that thrives in dry and anaerobic conditions. The proteins produced by S. Salivarius K12 inhibit the growth of this bad-breathe causing bacteria.
Ear infections: The misinformed believe that ear infections start from outside the ear. The truth is that they are caused by bacteria that originates inside the throat and then travels up to the ear canal through the Eustachian tube. Beneficial bacteria such as that found in probiotics prevent this from happening by forming a protective bio-film in the throat that prevents harmful bacteria from progressing.
When it was discovered that bacteria is essential for healthy gut activity, the doctor who made the discovery suggested that if a person is suffering from certain maladies of the stomach or gut or whose healthy gut bacteria has been eviscerated by steroids or antibiotics, said person can get a transplant of bacteria from a healthy donor.
This idea was also applied to a man who came into his doctor complaining of an ear infection. The doctor simply took a sample of ear wax from the person's healthy ear, transferred it into the infected ear and the infection passed.