Probiotics: Not Just for Your Digestive Tract
For those of us familiar with probiotics, we usually think of either a pill or some sort of beverage used to regulate our digestive health. A probiotic is a mixture of healthy bacteria that helps regulate the movement of food through our digestive system. Part of that regulation includes maintaining a healthy pH balance that promotes food breakdown and nutrient absorption.
A recent study found that probiotics can be used to promote a healthy mouth, too. A strain of Streptococcus bacteria (one that doesn’t cause strep throat!) is able to break down amino acids more quickly and efficiently than other oral bacteria. The result of amino acid breakdown is an increase in ammonia that helps neutralize any acid sitting on your teeth. A buildup of acid creates the perfect environment for cavity formation, so this strain of Streptococcus can act as an anti-cavity treatment.
Even though the research is still in progress for creating a probiotic that includes this beneficial bacteria, it’s important to understand how important pH balance is for your teeth. Foods and drinks high in acid, like citrus fruits and coffee, make it easier for decay and cavity formation to occur. Until this new preventative treatment hits the market, try and minimize the about of acidic food you include in your diet.
Interested in the research? Read more about it here!