Aims: Probiotics have been proven to be beneficial for general and systemic health. Many in vitro and in vivo studies have investigated the use of probiotics for the prevention or treatment of dental caries and gingival diseases. Lactobacillus reuteri is believed to possess anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of our randomized controlled trial was to evaluate the effect of chewing gums containing probiotics and xylitol on the salivary Streptococcus mutans counts, plaque, and gingival scores after the intervention. Materials and Methods: In our 3-week, short-term trial, 40 healthy 7-12-year-old children consumed two commercially available chewing gums; Group 1 (BioGaia™ ProDentis) and Group 2 (Orbit®Gum, Wrigley's). Individuals consumed three chewing gums daily, immediately after major meals for 20 min each. The probiotic gum contained two strains of L. reuteri (ATCC 55730 and ATCC PTA 5282) along with artificial sweetener, sorbitol, and the xylitol gum consisted of both xylitol and sorbitol. Pre- and post-intervention whole unstimulated saliva samples were collected and cultured on Mitis Salivarius Bacitracin agar plates to check for colony forming units/ml of Streptococcus mutans. Plaque and gingival scores were also recorded at pre- and post-intervention appointments. Results: Following the intervention, the salivary Streptococcus mutans counts decreased in both groups. There was a significant reduction in plaque and gingival scores at postintervention examination. Conclusion: Probiotics can be used as an alternative to xylitol in the preventive regimen for dental caries or control in case of high caries risk.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes