Do probiotics offer opportunities to manipulate the periodontal oral microbiota?

Department of Periodontology, Research Group for Microbial Adhesion, Catholic University Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
Journal Of Clinical Periodontology (Impact Factor: 3.61). 03/2011; 38 Suppl 11:159-77. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2010.01665.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT As in other fields of healthcare, probiotics have been introduced for prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases.
This review was initiated to explore whether the use of probiotics can influence the periodontal microbiota and periodontal health.
Literature on the mode of action of oral probiotics was reviewed and a systematic review was performed on the microbiological and clinical effects of oral probiotics on periodontal health.
Three animal and 11 in vivo human studies were retrieved. Six studies reported on microbiological effects whereas eight studies report on clinical effects. Seven studies were performed on healthy or gingivitis patients and four studies on periodontitis patients. Many of the retrieved studies are pilot in nature and with low quality. The high degree of heterogeneity between studies hampered analysis.
Taking into consideration all limitations, the currently available data indicate an effect of probiotics on the oral microbiota and a more limited effect on clinical periodontal outcome measures. However, there is an urgent need for properly conducted clinical trials where probiotics are used as adjuncts to standard periodontal care, similar to antibiotics, using probiotic strains with, at least at an in vitro level, proven periodontal probiotic effects.

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