Gum disease, if left unchecked, can give you more than rotten teeth. It can affect your heart, liver and kidneys too. For many people, brushing and flossing twice a day may not be sufficient. Fortunately, there is a probiotic supplement which helps destroy the bacteria that cause gum disease and replaces these with beneficial bacteria which have been shown to protect gums and teeth.
What is gum disease?
Affecting large numbers of the adult population, gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria which adhere to the teeth. Although most of the plaque can be removed by regular brushing, if any of it is not removed then this film hardens up under the gum line to form tartar. Tartar harbours more bacteria and should only be removed by a hygienist or dentist.
The longer plaque and tartar exist, the greater the damage to the gums. There may be slight inflammation at the base of gum tissues, known as gingivitis. Symptoms include bad breath, swollen gums, inflamed gums and slight bleeding whilst brushing. Left untreated, gingivitis leads to periodontal disease which is when you end up with receding gums and tooth loss.
How does gum disease impact on other parts of the body?
More than 70 percent of the adult population aged 65 and above have some form of gum disease. This includes gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums without tooth loss, or periodontitis, which can lead to loss of teeth and bone. This also applies to people under the age of 65 though. Clearly the percentages are lower but not minimal by any means.
Research appears to indicate that the bacteria which causes gum disease may also play a role in certain diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis. So, how can something as simple as gum disease be implicated in these serious diseases? The answer appears to lie in the excessive growth of these destructive bacteria.
The oral cavity is a fine balance of the good bacteria, which protect gums and the teeth. When this balance is affected, whether through the excess ingestion of sugars, use of antibiotics or for other reasons, the result is the thriving of cavity producing bacteria responsible for inflammation and infection. It is this cycle of infection and inflammation which is linked to several diseases including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Kidney problems
How can a probiotic save your gums and teeth?
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria responsible for a host of functions carried out within the body. The principle of using probiotics is simple; replace harmful bacteria with beneficial bacteria. Research has shown that a specific probiotic supplement, Life Extension’s FLORASSIST® Oral Hygiene, may prove to be invaluable in protecting your teeth and gums which in turn may actually protect your life.
FLORASSIST® Oral Hygiene contains two specific probiotic strains, S. salivarius BLIS M18 and Immuno LP20, which have been shown to compete against pathogenic bacteria in the mouth that cause or worsen periodontal or gum disease.
S.salivarius produces enzymes that help to break down plaque. Plaque is the sticky film which forms on the teeth and is a causal factor for tooth and gum decay. When we take a general probiotic supplement, the beneficial bacteria are those that are aimed at colonising the gut and they do not colonise in the mouth. S. salivarius is a strain that has been shown to colonise in the mouth and in the gums displacing the bad bacteria responsible for tooth and gum disease. It does this because this specific bacterial strain produces an antibiotic-type substance which inhibits the thriving of bad bacteria diminishing their numbers. Although S. salivarius is a common bacteria found in the mouth, only two percent of people have the beneficial BLIS strain. One study also showed that the BLIS strain also inhibits the inflammatory compounds associated with gingivitis and periodontitis.
A patented strain of Lactobacillus Plantarum L-137 has been shown to inhibit the growth of several bacteria species known to contribute to tooth decay.
Having ascertained that these specific bacteria produced marked results in laboratory tests, scientists decided to test their effects in real life. A clinical study was carried out using the parameters that dental hygienists use to determine the health of gums. All the pre-test conditions were rigorous ensuring that both male and female patients were involved; that the subjects had their plaque and tartar removed at the outset and so on.
The subjects in the study took Florassist Oral Hygiene for 30 days only but the results were measured after 30 days and at the 60 day period. These confirmed that Florassist Oral Hygiene improved all four parameters of gum health which include plaque index score, gingival index score, sulcular bleeding index and probing pocket depth. Although the subjects took the lozenges for just 30 days, benefits continued even at the 60 day period suggesting that Florassist Oral Hygiene could be used every other month to offer protection against gum disease.
Gum disease is a threat to your oral health as well as your overall health. It is often painless and goes undetected until other problems arise which is why it is always better to tackle gum disease early or to try and prevent this.
Preventing gum disease is not just about taking Florassist Oral Hygiene lozenges. You still have to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. When these recommendations are combined with an oral probiotic lozenge, you are likely to protect your gums, teeth and your whole body against gum disease and its ramifications.