Probiotics and prebiotics for oral health: myth or reality

Asma Usmani., Anamika Sharma., Ritika Kapoor and ShiviKhattri

Background: Periodontal diseasesare chronic bacterial infections leading to gingival inflammation, periodontal tissue destruction and alveolar bone loss. Chronic gingivitis is one of the commonest disease of oral cavity. Nonsurgical therapy remains the cornerstone of periodontal treatment. Maintenance of oral hygiene plays a vital role in suppression of re-colonization of micro-organism. Adjunctive treatment modalities along with mechanical debridement have been clinically used and investigated for their efficacy. Systemic antioxidants in conjunction with mechanical debridement can offer additional effects. Gingival inflammation results in high degree of free radical release culminating in heightened oxidative damage to the tissues which can be mitigated by "antioxidant defense system"
Aim: Effect of oral administration of probiotics and prebiotics in subjects with chronic gingivitis.
Material and Methods: Subjects aged between 20 to 50 years and diagnosed with chronic gingivitis were selected and divided into two groups with 20 subjects in each group. Patients in group A were advised scaling alone while group B patients were advised oral administration of probiotics and prebiotics along with scaling. Clinical parameters such as plaque index (PI), gingival index (GI), oral hygiene index simplified (OHI-S) and bleeding on probing (BOP) were assessed at baseline and 3 weeks post scaling. Result: Oral administration of probiotics and prebiotics reduced all the clinical parameters of gingivitis. Conclusion: The present clinical study confirms the plaque inhibition, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects of probiotics and prebiotics that can be recommended during non-surgical periodontal therapy and the maintenance phase of periodontal treatment.

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