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Oral Microbiome and the Best Probiotics for Oral Health

As you focus on the health of your gut’s microbiome, you often overlook the microbiome of that first organ in the GI tract, your oral microbiome.


The oral microbiome


Your oral microbiome is home to at least 700 species of bacteria. They live in the biofilms of your teeth, tongue, lips, and lower and upper palates. It’s the gateway to the rest of your body. Everything you ingest goes through your mouth, where millions of microbes live to form your oral microbiome. Additionally, you swallow over a trillion microbes every single day. These pass through your mouth and go down to your gut, where they reseed and inoculate.


Your oral microbiome serves as your mouth’s immune system. It reduces bad breath, oral thrush, tooth decay, and other gum diseases. Your mouth’s microbiome not only influences the oral cavity but the entire body.


Like your gut’s microbiome, balancing your oral microbiome has benefits beyond your mouth. Healthy microbial colonies in your mouth can reduce your risk from the development of dysbiosis, immune dysfunction, and chronic health conditions like:

  • COPD
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Obesity
  • Heart diseases

Diet, immune health, lifestyle choices, and inflammation can affect the oral microbiome, as they do in the gut. Thus, balancing your oral environment inside the mouth requires a similar approach in restoring and maintaining the gut flora.



Oral probiotics versus gut probiotics


Oral probiotics are bacterial strains known to support oral health. They encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Like your gut, your mouth has a diverse community of bacteria. However, oral probiotics are not the same as the ones that live in the gut. Oral probiotics are most effective when delivered directly to the mouth, where they can colonize the mouth surface.

Gut probiotics are bacterial strains that naturally live in the gut. Probiotic supplements for the gut should be in a capsule or coated-tablet form, so they can withstand the acidic environment of the stomach as they make their way into the intestine.


How do oral probiotics work?


Oral probiotics work by improving oral health. They help restore the balance of the microbiome in the mouth to prevent and treat oral issues like oral cavity, plaque, gum disease, and bad breath.


The best probiotic strains for oral health


The best probiotics strains for oral health includes:

  • salivarius
  • salivarius K12
  • salivarius M18
  • reuteri
  • sakei
  • paracasei


How to take oral probiotics?


The most effective way of taking oral probiotics is via lozenges and chewable tablets as they are being delivered directly to the surface of the mouth. The best time to take it is in the morning after brushing or rinsing the mouth. When choosing the best oral probiotics, look for supplements with high CFU, at least 3 billion. Look for probiotic strains with the above-mentioned strains. Take note oral probiotics should be chewed or made to melt in the mouth and not to swallow.

Aside from oral probiotics, consuming probiotic-rich foods can enhance the benefits of oral probiotic supplements. These include miso, kefir, natto, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha.

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