Gum disease is a serious infection of your gums. Treatment of your gum disease can come in many forms, from simple changes in your oral hygiene to the use of antibiotics to surgical treatment.
For many people, a natural approach to dental care seems desirable, and with gum disease, we are getting closer to using approaches like probiotics to support your gum disease treatment. A new study shows that probiotics are effective in support of scaling and root planing.
What Is Scaling and Root Planing?
In gum disease, bacteria have colonized between your gums and teeth. As this infection gets worse, the bacteria will enlarge the space to accommodate their growing numbers. To stop the infection, it’s necessary to remove the bacteria from these pockets.
Scaling and root planing is a cleaning technique for removing the bacteria. The scaling portion of the procedure is the removal of the hardened oral bacteria, known as tartar, which accumulates on the tooth surfaces. Once the hard material is removed, the soft plaque can be removed. Often, the bacteria have created a roughened surface (similar to numerous tiny cavities) on the tooth root. This surface facilitates the growth of oral bacteria. To slow down the return of oral bacteria, dentists or periodontists perform a planing or smoothing procedure on the root.
Antibiotics are often introduced at this point to help kill any remaining bacteria and prevent new bacteria from growing in the space.
How Probiotics Can Help
Scaling and root planing is generally an effective way to combat gum disease, but it is not 100% effective. In some cases, the bacteria may recolonize your gum tissue, and the infection may be as bad as or worse than before. People who are genetically vulnerable to gum disease or those who have difficulty maintaining good oral hygiene are particularly at risk.
But probiotics can help, according to a new study. Probiotics is a broad term, referring to any kind of bacteria or other organism that has a beneficial symbiotic relationship with your body. Often these bacteria can help your oral health by competing with or attacking harmful bacteria. Probiotics can be helpful in keeping bacteria away from your dental implants, and they can also help keep bacteria from infecting your gums again. In this review of clinical articles, it was found that probiotics like Lactobacillus reuteri can improve the ability of your gums to attach to your teeth and reduces the amount of bleeding gums.
Because they are generally not harmful, probiotics may be an optimal adjunct to regular gum disease treatment.