, ,

Protect Gum Tissue with Beneficial Bacteria

Life Extension Magazine®

Woman flossing and keeping a balanced oral microbiota

Protect Gum Tissue with Beneficial Bacteria

Daily brushing and flossing may not be enough to prevent gum disease. Two probiotics improve gum health and reduce oral plaque.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, on January 2021. Written By Michael Downey.

Your oral cavity is teeming with over 700 different species of bacteria.

It is second only to the gut for size and diversity of microbial communities in your body.1,2

An unbalanced oral microbiota may contribute to systemic disease conditions.2

Even with daily brushing and flossing, many people still end up with periodontal disease, often referred to as gum disease.

Researchers have identified a way to reduce gum disease and improve oral health that can provide additional protection beyond daily brushing. 3,4

Improving gum health may lower the risk for a host of inflammatory disorders commonly associated with aging.

Gum Disease Threatens the Whole Body

More than 47% of people over age 30 have gum disease. After age 65, the rate rises to a shocking 70%.5

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is associated with disorders throughout the body, including cardiovascular, lung, kidney, bone, and Alzheimer’s diseases.

An underlying link is periodontal disease’s effect on the oral microbiota, the natural community of microbes living in the oral cavity.

When healthy, the oral microbiota supports and protects the delicate mucous membranes as well as the surface of the teeth themselves.

However, inadequate oral hygiene, as well as poor diet and lifestyle factors, drugs, and disease, can disrupt this balance. The resulting microbial imbalance—often called dysbiosis—allows excessive growth of pathogenic (disease-causing) organisms in the oral cavity.

This, in turn, disrupts the mouth’s immune system and creates a vicious cycle that can have disastrous effects on many body systems,6 causing diseases in parts of the body far removed from the mouth itself.7

Two Beneficial Bacteria Halt Gum Disease

Probiotics are beneficial live bacteria. They have been used for years to rebalance the gut microbiota, supporting the growth of helpful organisms and crowding out harmful ones.

The oral cavity holds the second largest and diverse microbiota after the gut.1

Beneficial bacteria reduce the dangerous strains, which allows a wider range and number of beneficial microbes to succeed.

After studying numerous types of bacteria, scientists identified two specific strains that can restore oral health and halt the process of periodontal disease:3,8,9

Beneficial Effects

Scientist showing petri-dish of two beneficial bacteria

Scientists conducted research into understanding how these two bacteria promote oral health.

They found that a heat-treated form of Lactobacillus plantarum L-137 could improve the immune system’s fighting ability.3

In a rat model of metabolic syndrome, oral treatment with L. plantarum L-137 was shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on cardiac and fat tissue. That resulted in reduced:10

The probiotic Streptococcus salivarius M18 was shown to:

Researchers then set out to validate these strains in clinical trials.

L. plantarum L-137 Fights Gum Disease

Scientists conducted a controlled, randomized trial of L. plantarum L-137 on 39 volunteers with chronic periodontitis.3

Some participants received a placebo. Others took a capsule containing heat-treated L. plantarum L-137.3

Researchers used a periodontal probe to measure the pocket depth, the distance from the gum line to the bottom of the tiny pocket between the gum and tooth root. Healthy gum pockets are 3 mm or less, while a depth of 4 mm or more is clinically defined as periodontal disease.15

After 12 weeks, those treated with L. plantarum had a 64% greater improvement in pocket depth than placebo recipients.3

These results demonstrate that periodontal disease can be improved with L. plantarum L-137.

S. Salivarius Improves Oral Health

Micro image of L. s. salivarius

Reducing pocket depth is just one piece of the perio-dontal disease puzzle, another is dental plaque.

One clinical trial showed that 88% of S. salivarius recipients maintained plaque scores lower than their pretreatment values after a three-month treatment period, compared with 44% of placebo recipients.8

Investigators then conducted a trial to test how S. salivarius M18 affected broader parameters of oral health.4

Scientists recruited men and women, aged 20-60, with moderate or severe gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and moderate periodontitis.

For 30 days, half received no treatment, and half took lozenges containing 200 million bacteria of the S. salivarius M18 strain daily after brushing.4

On the last day of treatment, compared to the untreated group, those in the S. salivarius M18 group had:4

Treatment was then stopped, and measurements were taken 30 days later. Even then, a month after treatment had ended, the lozenge group had:4

This means that the probiotic lozenge significantly improved periodontal health—and sustained these benefits long after treatment stopped.


Beneficial Bacteria Promote Oral Health


Woman smiling wide near flower

Gum disease affects more than 70% of older adults.

It often leads to tooth loss and is associated with an increased risk of serious disorders throughout the body.

A cofactor in the development of periodontal disease is an imbalance in the normal microbial community of the oral cavity.

Scientists have shown that a heat-treated form of the probiotic strain L. plantarum L-137 boosts oral immune function, reduces inflammation, and promotes healing.

A second probiotic strain, S. salivarius M18, rebalances the bacterial populations of the mouth, crowding out harmful microbes.

Studies show that these two beneficial bacteria strains help prevent gum disease and protect oral and total body health.

The ideal time to initiate oral probiotics is after a professional teeth cleaning.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.


Life Extension Health Concens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Start a Blog at

%d bloggers like this: