Probiotics and Your Dentures

Dentist Blog

If you wear dentures, you may suffer from bouts of gum disease and a condition called denture stomatitis from time-to-time.  These unpleasant conditions can cause you discomfort when eating, together with reddening of the gums and of the roof of your mouth.  This can make it uncomfortable to wear your dentures and can lead to side effects, such as bad breath.

Although good oral hygiene can help to keep these problems at bay, there is a natural ally that can also be used daily to fight the bacterial and fungal infections that cause gum disease and denture stomatitis.

Probiotics and oral health

Probiotics are commonly described as the 'healthy bacteria' that are often associated with good digestion.  The most well-known of these is a species of bacteria called lactobacillus, which is found in natural, live yoghurt and in some other probiotic-containing foods.  Lactobacillus can also be bought in tablet form and is readily available in good health food stores and natural medicine and herbalist shops.

The most common cause of denture stomatitis is a fungal species called Candida, which forms an unpleasant, slimy biofilm with which to protect itself as it lives in your mouth, feeding on food particles that may be trapped beneath your dentures.  Lactobacillus effectively prevents the formation of this biofilm, leaving the Candida fungus exposed to attack both from it and from the protective chemicals contained in your saliva.  The presence of lactobacillus in your mouth can effectively reduce the likelihood and frequency of the occurrence of denture stomatitis and bacterial gum infections.

Sources of probiotics

There are a number of foodstuffs that contain probiotics including the following:

  1. Live yoghurt:  You can buy live yogurt products in all good supermarkets.  
  2. KefirKefir is a milky drink originating from Turkey and Russia, which is made by fermenting milk with Kefir grains.  
  3. Salty pickles:  Pickles made using brine rather than vinegar contain a good helping of many probiotics including lactobacillus.  
  4. Sourdough bread:  Sourdough bread contains lactobacillus and is great for your morning toast!  
  5. Tempeh:  Tempeh is formed from fermented soybeans and contains probiotics.  It's similar to tofu and is available from good health food supermarkets. 

In conclusion

If you wear dentures and periodically suffer from oral health problems, such as gum disease and denture stomatitis, you might like to consider including a healthy dose of probiotics in your diet.  These helpful bacteria can help to reduce the frequency of denture-related problems, as well as being of benefit to your digestive system. 


29 March 2016

Dental Care and Seniors: Helping to Maintain Your Smile

As you age, it can become harder to take care of your teeth. Motor challenges can make it hard to floss, while memory issues may make it easy to overlook brushing. Whether you are a senior looking for solutions to some of the common dental problems or a senior with specific questions about cavities or oral surgery, you have come to the right place. In this blog, I am going to touch on a range of topics related to seniors and oral health. This is the type of resource I wish my mum would have had access to in her senior years, and I hope you enjoy having access to it during yours. I appreciate you reading my posts.