One of the key duties of oral hygiene practice is to take appropriate steps to support patients with the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases. Raff writes in his paper, Probiotics for Periodontal Health: A Review of Literature (2012), that a mixture of specific bacterial activity and the patient’s immune response is involved in the pathogenesis of the periodontal disease, which leads to recession and tooth loss. Given the difficulty in scaling and root preparation as recovery strategies, there is a need for better and advanced treatments. Mechanical elimination and non-economical retreatments describe these traditional therapies. Additionally, the periodontal pathogens repopulate within months. However, there is compelling evidence that periodontal healing can be improved by incorporating scaling and root planning as treatment options have proved difficult. These ubiquitous treatments are characterized by mechanical removal and non-economical retreatments. Additionally, the periodontal pathogens repopulate within months. However, there is compelling evidence that periodontal healing can be improved by incorporating scaling and root planning with chemotherapies such as anti-biotic. These chemotherapies should not be used in excess, and their application should be limited to avoid antibiotic resistance. Raff notes that patients having the periodontal disease can accrue numerous benefits by chewing a double dose of active gum every day. This will lead to significant reduction in the inflammatory mediators that usually damage tissues.
It is true that bacteria become stronger and less responsive when the antibiotics are used too often. Adverse drug reaction may make the periodontal disease therapy using antibiotics uncomfortable to some patients. There is tendency for patients to develop antibiotic allergies with increasing age and usage of the drugs, given that some patients have reported adverse allergic reactions to antimicrobials such as tetracycline and penicillin. These antimicrobials are sometimes used in the treatment of periodontal diseases. There are cases when Chlorhexidine, an antimicrobial agent, has been linked with serious effects to those having poorly controlled diabetes. The practice of dental hygiene is therefore ineffectual without effective treatment solutions that present a minimum risk to the health of the patient while offering long-term benefits.
One such solution is probiotic therapies, and although not entirely risk-free, side effects are most unlikely to be experienced. A probiotic is a live microbe that presents numerous benefits to its host when taken in sufficient quantity. Although there is insufficient scientific research to back up the application of probiotic in periodontal treatment, there is a broad range of products for periodontal health promotion. On the other hand, the use of Lactobacilli Salivarius tablet by smokers having moderate periodontal disease indicated clinical improvements in plaque indices and probing depth. The tablet minimizes the salivary levels of bacteria such as periodontal pathogens. The defensive ability of probiotics can significantly reduce the growth of periodontal gingivalis and periodontal intermedia when it’s allowed to colonize first. Theoretically, root planning and pocket recolonization can be an efficient clinical use application of probiotics in the dental health care delivery.
Raff (2012) reviewed literature related to periodontal diseases and probiotic treatment which included clinical studies since 2001. The results indicated that the health benefits of using probiotics are numerous. These advantages range from relieving of inflammation, prevention of allergies and deterrence of certain diseases. The need for probiotic treatments is justified by the fact that periodontal diseases are infectious and inflammatory, and that the existing therapeutic measures are not well established. However, there is still room for identifying the most effective bacterial species for cultivation using probiotic treatment. Most of the literature on the use of probiotics involves Lactobacilli species which poses several benefits when used for treatment. When the species is used in the form of chewing gum, it can lead to improved gingival health and reduced bleeding. Dental professions should there be more cautious when responding to patients inquiries about the use of probiotic treatment for periodontal health.
Raff, A., & Hunt, L. C. (2012). Probiotics for periodontal health: A review of the literature. American Dental Hygienists Association, 86(2), 71-81.