Swiss researchers from Malmo University report that probiotics could be effective in the treatment of gingivitis (a mild form of gum disease that causes inflammation and bleeding). They performed a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study on patients with moderate to severe gingivitis over a two-week period. Twenty patients were given one of two different Lactobacillus reuteri formulations per day, while another 18 were given a placebo. The patients were also instructed on how to brush and floss.

The results showed that in all groups, symptoms of gingivitis were reduced. In one of the probiotic groups, gingivitis improved more significantly than in the placebo group. Plaque decreased as well in the same probiotic group. And in both probiotic groups, the amount of “friendly flora” in the mouth increased. The researchers concluded that Lactobacillus reuteri was effective in reducing both gingivitis and plaque for patients with moderate to severe gingivitis.

Source: Swed Dent J. 2006;30(2):55-60