Cavities are a serious problem among Americans, particularly those 55 years and wiser. Statistics estimate that about 9 in 10 adults ages 20-64 have at least 1 cavity (i). This sobering statistic seems to be fueled by poor dietary choices, with the typical Western diet high in added sugar and high fructose corn syrup. The good news: Better food choices may reverse this trend, leading to stronger and healthier teeth. Specifically, a new study indicates that probiotics may help to prevent cavities. Probiotics are most commonly found in yogurt, kefir, kimchee, kombucha, and also in specially formulated probiotic supplements.
Probiotic May Prevent Cavities (Study)
The search for a probiotic to prevent cavities yielded an exciting discovery right here in the Sunshine State. While studying the effects of different bacteria on pH levels inside the mouth, researchers at the University of Florida identified a new strain of bacteria that shows promise as a method of oral bacteria prevention.
The discovery was not easy, however. Researchers analyzed over 2,000 unique bacteria strands. Each was assessed based on its ability to metabolize arginine, a trait that demonstrates the bacteria’s ability to reduce the incidence of cavities. Of all the strands analyzed, a new strain of Streptococcus called “A12” was identified as the only strain capable of preventing cavities as a probiotic.
Commenting on the findings, lead researcher Robert Burne, PhD explains:
“[To prevent cavities] You would implant this probiotic in a healthy child or adult who might be at risk for developing cavities. However many times you have to do that, once in a lifetime or once a week, the idea is that you could prevent a decline in oral health by populating the patient with natural beneficial organisms.”
Preventing cavities and oral infection through better lifestyle choices is just one of the many reasons why patients are increasingly choosing holistic dentistry over traditional dental practices. By examining the body as a whole, holistic dental professionals can help patients follow a comprehensive plan toward better oral hygiene and total body wellness. To learn more about holistic dentistry, health, and balancing the microbiome, visit one of the following Miami Dentist Blog resources:
Nutrition Meets Dentistry at Assure A Smile
Assure A Smile is Miami’s leading holistic dental practice. At Assure A Smile, every member of our team is focused on helping you make positive lifestyle choices that will create healthy teeth and gums for life. From optimizing nutrition to helping patients choose safe and bio-compatible dental materials, each member of our team has the knowledge and experience to help patients build oral health and total body wellness for life.
Schedule an appointment with Assure A Smile online, or speak with a friendly member of our front desk at 305-274-0047.