Beneficial Bacteria to the Rescue in Periodontal Disease and Vaginal Infection

Photo of a permanent maxillary central incisors (#8 and 9 by the universal system of notation) taken from the facial view. Source: Photo taken by dozenist on June 10, 2006.
Central Incisors by dozenist

Lactobacilli continue to show their strength by being able to take on periodontal disease and vaginal infections. But the route of administration appears to matter. Plus, Indian food is a new source of lactic acid bacteria.

Probiotics Pack a Punch against Periodontal Disease
A future treatment for periodontal disease could be as simple as taking daily probiotic tablets. Brazilian researchers gave ten volunteers with periodontitis a daily dose of Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis for 30 days. After that period, symptoms of the disease were measured and compared to a control group receiving dummy tablets. Those that got the bacteria had significantly improved gum health. Future studies will determine if longer-term treatment will have even better effects.

Failure of Probiotic Lozenges to Help Gingivitis
Scientists in Sweden have found that lozenges are not a useful method for preventing gingivitis. Volunteers were given lozenges with Lactobacillus reuteri (ATCC55730 and ATCC PTA5289) twice daily for three weeks. Special mouth-guards were used to prevent specific molars from being cleaned, which led to plaque build-up and gingivitis. No differences were found between those taking the bacterially laced lozenges and the control lozenges.

Indian Food is a New Source of Beneficial Bacteria
Next time that you visit an Indian restaurant consider ordering traditional Indian fermented food like dahi, gundruk, sinki, iniziangsang, iromba, fermented rai, kanjika and handua. These foods, largely considered medicinal, are also rich in lactic acid bacteria. Scientists consider this an opportunity to isolate new strains with healthful properties.

More Evidence for the Treatment of Vaginal Infections with Probiotics
Probiotics have a good track record for treating vaginal infection and further evidence of this fact has now been observed in a treatment study involving 544 women diagnosed with bacterial vaginal infections. The probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14) were given orally for a period of six weeks, and after this period more than half of the treated women had normal vaginal flora as opposed to 26% in the control group. The researchers speculated that these bacteria could be an alternative treatment for bacterial vaginal infections.