What is a probiotic? When we hear the word ‘bacteria’ we think of harmful ‘germs’ that must be eradicated. But that’s not always true. The live microorganisms that are found in yoghurt for example are very good for us. These types of bacteria can help us digest food, destroy cells that cause disease, and even produce vitamins we need, and live microorganisms are either the same or very similar to the ones that live naturally in our bodies.
Taking antibiotics destroys the ‘good’ bacteria in your body. Probiotics can help replace them quickly. They also keep a balance between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria, keeping your body working the way it should.
IF THEY ARE SO GOOD FOR US CAN THEY HELP PROTECT OUR TEETH?
As a dental tool for combating periodontitis, probiotics are still in the research phase. We do know that probiotics lower the pH of your mouth. As a result the bacteria that causes plaque can’t form. Periodontitis is also known as gum disease. Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that can damage the soft tissue of your gums to such an extent that the bone of your jaw can be damaged, and your teeth loosen and fall out.
WHAT CAUSES PERIODONTITIS?
Periodontitis is caused by poor oral hygiene. To prevent this, brush twice a day, flossing daily and have regular check-ups. Taking probiotics also helps, quite dramatically in fact.
WHERE DO WE FIND PROBIOTICS, AND ARE THEY THE SAME AS VITAMINS?
Many probiotics produce vitamins or have vitamins within them. Rather than buying vitamins separately, why not change up your diet instead? Here are 9 foods in which you can find beneficial probiotics:
- Yoghurt. Ensure it has Live Cultures or Active Cultures.
- Kefir. A fermented probiotic milk drink is made with cow’s or goat’s milk and added kefir grains.
- Sauerkraut. Unpasteurised, finely shredded fermented cabbage with probiotics, and is rich in fibre, vitamins C and K, sodium, iron, potassium, the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Tempeh. A fermented soybean product with a nutty taste similar to mushrooms, has vitamin B12, and is great a high protein meat substitute and increases the amount of minerals your body is able to absorb.
- Kimchi. A fermented, spicy Korean side dish made with cabbage and other vegetables and has great lactic acid necessary for your gut’s health.
- Miso. A Japanese seasoning that has protein, fibre, is high in various vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds, including vitamin K, manganese, and copper.
- Kombucha. A fermented black or green tea drink that is simple to make at home.
- Pickles or gherkins. Cucumbers preserved in a solution of salt and water and are a great source of healthy probiotic bacteria, low in calories and high in vitamin K.
- Traditional, not cultured buttermilk. Low in fat and calories, it contains vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium, and phosphorus.
If changing your diet really doesn’t appeal, then think about taking a probiotic supplement or the vitamins these foods provide.
Make an appointment today and chat to one of our team and we’ll give you the best advice to keep your beautiful smile and ensure your keep your teeth strong and healthy. Contact us on 0508 TEAM DENTAL.