Does Your Dentist Use Probiotics

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Dr Andrea Scholten July 2014

A new oral probiotic called EvoraPro® helps replenish and stabilize levels of beneficial bacteria in the oral cavity. Bacteria used to be a dirty word for dental professionals.

Therapies designed to control oral diseases have generally relied on chemical or mechanical means to reduce the bacterial load on soft and hard tissues. With probiotics, however, that picture is changing.
Over the past several decades, scientific research has produced a detailed view of bacteria-bacteria interactions in the plaque biofilm. Oragenics; scientists have been at the forefront of this research, and their efforts have resulted in the recent introduction of the oral probiotics product, EvoraPro®, to the US professional dental market. EvoraPro is an extra-strength probiotics product intended for short-term at-home use by patients after a professional visit.

Total species diversity in the oral cavity has been estimated to be about 700 species. Jeffrey D. Hillman, DMD, PhD, chief scientific officer at Oragenics, and his colleagues have conducted landmark research in oral microbiology, especially as it relates to bacterial interactions in the oral biofilm.

For over 25 years, Dr. Hillman conducted his studies at the Harvard-affiliated Forsyth Institute in Boston and later at the University of Florida Dental School. It is well known that the vast majority of oral species is commensal and do no harm to the host.

However, a small number of bacterial species can cause a shift from dental health, when they are able to achieve sufficiently large numbers in localized areas of the teeth and gingiva. Dr. Hillman discovered that a small number of species can actually play an important role in maintaining the micro- ecological balance in the oral cavity.

He proposed a novel approach for controlling the harmful effects of oral plaque build-up, ie, augment the host on a regular basis with these beneficial bacteria.

The result has been the development and launch by Oragenics of the active ingredient in EvoraPro, called ProBiora3®, 2 years ago. ProBiora3 contains a proprietary blend of three select oral bacterial strains of human origin: Streptococcus oralis strain KJ3 and Streptococcus uberis strain KJ2 for maintaining gingival health, and Streptococcus rattus strain JH145 for maintaining dental health.
All three strains are from the generally non-pathogenic group of bacteria known as Streptococcus viridians.

The concept for EvoraPro is that a high level of the active ingredient, ProBiora3, is most beneficial when delivered following a professional cleaning that may include root planing and scaling. Clinical research has determined that treated periodontal lesions recolonized by certain viridians streptococci are much more likely to remain free of further disease than are sites that do not get recolonized by these species. EvoraPro contains a 10-day supply of high-strength probiotic mints to help replenish and stabilize levels of beneficial germs in the mouth.

For long-term maintenance between office visits, the companion product, EvoraPlus®, is recommended to help maintain this healthy balance. As Dr. Hillman discovered, populations of harmful bacteria are normally kept in balance by competition from good bacteria, such as found in ProBiora3.

This balance can be periodically disrupted by certain factors of modern lifestyles, including stress, disease, antibiotics, unhealthy food and dental hygiene practices, and harmful environmental conditions. This is the reason that the Evora line of probiotic products should be incorporated into existing home oral care practices.

Dental professionals should seek out peer-reviewed articles supporting the safety and effectiveness of a product for its intended use. The three strains in EvoraPro have been the subject of more than 15 publications in the past 25 years, and the results of the most recent human trial are reported in the Journal of Applied Microbiology. The safety of the ProBiora3 active ingredient has been well established for oral applications.

EvoraPro® and EvoraPlus® represent a natural approach for dental health maintenance between office visits. As an adjunct to any professionally recommended home oral hygiene regimen, these products should be especially suited to patients in maintenance, those with poor home oral home care compliance, or any patients with special challenges because of physical impairment or salivary flow problems.

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