Probiotics contain living microorganisms that when ingested in sufficient amounts can provide beneficial effects on one's health. The use of probiotics for oral health has steadily increased over the past decade. With each strain producing specific benefits that cannot be directly applied to another strain, picking the best product can be overwhelming.
This article lists the top 5 brands of probiotics for oral health and discusses which strains of microorganisms are the best probiotics to take.
Best probiotics for oral health: a shortlist
- BioGaia Prodentis — best oral probiotic for gingivitis symptoms
- Luvbiotics — best multi-product oral probiotic
- Life Extension — best oral probiotic for recurrent tonsillitis
- Great Oral Health — best multi-use oral probiotic
- PrimeDenta — best probiotic with the highest number of CFUs
How did we compile the top probiotics for oral health?
With a large number of different oral probiotics, it can be difficult choosing the best product for you. Therefore, we compiled a list of criteria to evaluate probiotics for oral health to identify the best products on the market in 2023.
|Clean ingredients||Product is free of contaminants|
|Specific strains||Strains contained match the targeted complaint|
|Reputable manufacturer||Manufacturer known for high-quality products|
|Value for money||Number of colony forming units per serving|
- Clean ingredients. Probiotic manufacturers that take efforts to provide products free of contaminants are very important to ensure the content matches the label. This can also reduce unwanted side effects due to a contaminant.
- Specific strains. Each strain of microorganism used in probiotics can produce different effects and are used for specific complaints. Therefore, having the right strain increases the possibility of the probiotic helping you.
- Reputable manufacturer. Choosing a manufacturer known for producing high-quality products can help ensure you are getting a quality product.
- Value for money. Having a sufficient number of colony-forming units (CFU) in the product is important. Therefore, we evaluated products to ensure comparable CFU content for the cost.
5 best probiotics for oral health in 2023: an overview
Maintaining good oral health is essential to prevent oral diseases that can cause pain, irreversible damage to the gums, and loss of teeth. In addition to proper oral hygiene behaviors, many are turning to oral probiotics to help alter the microbial content of the mouth to improve one's oral health.
Research studies have shown the benefit of specific strains of probiotics for specific oral conditions such as dental caries, gingivitis, and recurrent tonsillitis. However, more studies are required to confirm the findings of these studies and determine the best dosing and strain compositions.
1. BioGaia Prodentis — best probiotic for gingivitis
BioGaia Prodentis oral lozenges contain 100 million colony-forming units (CFU) each of two different strains of Lactobacillus reuteri. This bacterial strain has been shown to have potential benefits in patients with gingivitis. In addition, L. reuteri may help improve halitosis (bad breath).
For over 30 years, BioGaia probiotic products have been sold throughout the world and manufactured to produce clean, safe, and high-quality products.
The lozenge is available in a mint flavor that is free of preservatives and added sugars. It is recommended to use one lozenge per day, preferably after brushing your teeth. BioGaia Prodentis is available in a 30-day supply for $26.25, they do offer discounts on multiple-month purchases and free shipping on orders over $59.00.
2. Luvbiotics — best multi-product oral probiotic
Luvbiotics lozenges contain Lactobacillus reuteri which has been shown to help with gingivitis and halitosis. Luvbiotics product line is also available in mouthwash and toothpaste, however, these products contain Lactobacillus parcasei which has been shown to inhibit Streptococcus mutans, the main bacteria that causes cavities. These products also contain aloe vera to help soothe irritated gums and xylitol as a sweetener.
Although a newer product, launched in 2020, Luvbiotics has achieved approval from the Health Food Manufacturing Association (HFMA) which promotes best practices for product safety and quality.
One lozenge is recommended per day and should be used after brushing your teeth. The lozenge is available in a 30-day supply for $11.28 in its original menthol flavor, as well as lemon and cherry. Discounts are also available for multiple-month purchases and the lozenge can be purchased in a package with toothpaste and mouthwash.
3. Live Extension FLORASSIST — best oral probiotic for recurrent tonsillitis
FLORASSIST is an oral lozenge that contains two different strains of bacteria, Streptococcus salivarius M18 (contains one billion CFUs) and Lactobacilli plantarum. S. salivarius M18 has been shown to help in inhibiting Streptococcus pyogenes, a bacterial cause of tonsillitis. In addition, L. plantarum has demonstrated antibacterial properties in lab studies which may inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
With over 40 years of experience in the supplement market, Live Extension manufactures their products in the United States using the purest of ingredients.
The lozenge is recommended to be used once a day after brushing your teeth. These lozenges are vegetarian and gluten free. A 30-day supply is available for $16.50 in a spearmint-cherry flavor.
4. Great Oral Health — best multi-use oral probiotic
Advanced Oral Probiotics by Great Oral Health contains a proprietary blend of 7 different microbial strains in one product. Containing both Streptococcus salivarius K12 and M18 it can be useful in recurrent tonsillitis, halitosis, and oral thrush. In addition, it contains multiple lactobacilli strains such as Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus paracasei which are helpful in gingivitis and cavity prevention, respectively.
Advanced Oral Probiotics are formulated without harmful chemicals or bleaching agents.
The recommended dosing is two chewable tablets per day which provide 6 million CFUs of their propriety blend of microbial strains. A 30-day supply costs $24.29 and is available in mint and strawberry vanilla flavors. Additional savings are available with subscribe and save and multiple-month purchases.
5. PrimeDenta — best probiotic with the highest number of CFUs
PrimeDenta is formulated with a combination of three strains including Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus paracasei, and Bifidobacterium lactis in a dosage of 3.5 billion CFUs per serving. Additionally, it contains Streptococcus salivarius A2. This product may help with gingivitis, cavities, halitosis, and recurrent tonsillitis.
PrimeDenta is manufactured in FDA-approved facilities and are tested to ensure the product is free from toxins and contaminants.
A 30-day supply of these chewable tablets costs $69, but there are additional savings if purchasing multiple months at a time. The recommended dosage is to use one tablet daily. It is available in a strawberry peppermint flavor and comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
A comparison of the best probiotics for oral health
|Product||Cost per serving||Strains||Flavors||Tablet type|
|BioGaia Prodentis||$0.88||Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289, Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938.||Mint||Lozenge|
|Luvbiotics||$0.38||Lactobacillus reuteri||Menthol, cherry, lemon||Lozenge|
|FLORASSIST||$0.55||Streptococcus salivarius M18, Lactobacilli plantarum.||Spearmint cherry||Lozenge|
What are oral probiotics?
Oral probiotics are specific strains of yeast and bacteria that provide beneficial effects on dental and oral health. Oral probiotics, also called dental probiotics, have been suggested to help improve bad breath, fight gum disease, and prevent tooth decay. The overall goal of probiotics is for the beneficial microorganisms to displace those that cause diseases of the oral cavity and compete for nutrients to suppress the growth of disease-causing bacteria. Although many of the studies involving oral probiotics have been conducted in the lab, there are some small studies that have promising results for probiotics in certain oral conditions.
Best oral probiotic strains to take
The effects of oral probiotics on oral health can be specific to the strain of microorganism contained within the product. This can play an important role in choosing a probiotic, as you want a strain that can potentially help with the condition for which it is being used. The best strains include:
- Lactobacillus reuteri. These bacteria is one of the most studied probiotics and has been shown to potentially help with the symptoms of gingivitis such as bleeding gums. In addition, this bacteria may also be able to improve halitosis or bad breath.
- Lactobacillus brevis. These bacteria is a lactic acid-producing bacteria that has been shown to help reduce inflammation within the gums. Therefore, it is commonly used in probiotics targeting gingivitis and periodontitis. Other oral conditions it may be used in are for the prevention of dental caries and oral thrush.
- Streptococcus salivarius K12 and M18. These strains are often used in patients with recurrent tonsillitis and oral thrush. It has been found to produce antibacterial substances that target Streptococcus pyogenes, the bacteria that causes tonsillitis. These antibacterial compounds have also been shown to inhibit some of the sulfur-producing bacteria responsible for halitosis. Additionally, it may help crowd out the fungus-causing oral thrush.
- Streptococcus A12. It has been shown to be a strong competitor for Streptococcus mutans, one of the leading causes of dental caries. Streptococcus A12 produces biofilms that prevent S. mutans from attaching to the teeth and antimicrobial substances targeting S. mutans. This strain has also been shown to potentially benefit those with halitosis.
Can probiotics improve dental health?
Yes. There is evidence that oral probiotics show promise in improving dental health, especially in patients who have a disruption in the normal bacterial content of the mouth. The bad bacteria contribute to the development of dental caries (cavities), gingivitis, and thrush. The use of oral probiotics has years of research supporting their potential benefits on dental health. However, a limited number of clinical trials have been conducted in humans.
Benefits of oral health probiotics
Oral probiotics have been shown to have few side effects and are often seen as a natural alternative for oral health. Although limited human studies have been conducted, there is evidence they may provide beneficial effects in the below conditions.
Oral probiotics for oral thrush
Oral thrush is an infection of the throat and tongue caused by Candida fungal species. This fungal infection can cause white spots (fungal colonies) to grow on the tongue, burning, itching, and problems swallowing in severe cases. Altering dietary habits such as reducing sugar intake and starting an oral probiotic can help resolve the infection by crowding out the fungus. Two strains that have shown effectiveness in oral thrush include Lactobacillus spp. and Streptococcus salivarius K12.
Oral probiotics for cavities
Dental caries (cavities) develop when a colony of harmful bacteria like Streptococcus mutans attaches to a tooth. These bacteria then digest sugars and produce acids that break down the enamel of teeth. Left untreated, they can progress into cavities requiring fillings, root canals, or removing teeth.
Probiotics on the other hand can reduce cavities by preventing harmful bacteria from attaching to teeth, producing antibacterial substances to suppress their growth, improving the mouth's immune response, and altering the pH and mineral content of saliva to stop cavities. Helpful strains include Streptococcus A12 and many Lactobacillus spp.
Oral probiotics for gingivitis & periodontitis
Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) can progress to infections of the bone and soft tissues (periodontitis) that can lead to tooth loss. The early treatment of gingivitis is important to prevent irreversible changes to the gums and teeth. The use of oral probiotics can decrease the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth and reduce inflammation of the gums.
Two strains that have been found to be helpful are Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus brevis. However, more research is needed to verify the findings of the small studies looking at probiotics and gingivitis/periodontitis.
Oral probiotics for halitosis
Halitosis or bad breath is defined as an offending or bad odor that is emitted from the mouth and breath. Sulfur-producing bacteria present in the mouth digest proteins releasing sulfur which contributes to the malodorous breath. Probiotics have shown success in addressing halitosis in some studies while others have not shown a significant benefit.
The potential mechanisms probiotics help fight halitosis are by competing for nutrients, attachments, and growth factors which decreases the number of sulfur-producing bacteria. They may also help neutralize the sulfur molecules produced, improving bad breath. Strains that have been shown to be beneficial are Streptococcus A12 and Lactobacillus reuteri.
Oral probiotics for tonsillitis
Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils which can be caused by harmful bacteria such as Streptococcus pyogenes. Cases of tonsillitis caused by S. pyogenes are often treated with penicillin, but some people are susceptible to recurrent episodes of tonsillitis.
The oral probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 has been shown to reduce the number of episodes of tonsillitis. Probiotics can reduce the number of S. pyogenes present in the throat and enhance the natural immunity of the mouth to reduce tonsillitis episodes.
Risks of taking oral probiotics
Probiotics are generally considered to be safe for consumption in most people, however, there are certain people that should avoid probiotics. In addition, taking probiotics does have side effects which are typically present during the first few weeks of starting administration. These side effects include:
- Allergic reaction
- Mild stomach upset
Individuals with diseases that cause them to be immunocompromised (i.e. cancer, HIV) or are on medications used to suppress the immune system should avoid probiotics. Taking probiotics could result in an infection as the immune system is unable to provide adequate protection.
How to take oral probiotics?
Oral probiotics can only help when the bacterial species are able to contact the oral cavity and become attached to the tissues where they can provide their beneficial properties. Taking a pill and swallowing it immediately is unlikely to be helpful. Therefore, oral probiotics come in chewable tablets, gummies, lozenges, and powders.
When taking these products, they should sit in your mouth before swallowing to give the probiotics a chance to adhere to the tissues of the mouth. The residual contents can then be swallowed. It is important to adhere to the manufacturer's recommended dosing and technique for taking to ensure the safe use of their products.
How long do oral probiotics take to work?
This often depends on the condition being treated and the formulation of oral probiotics. In some cases, results may be noticed within a few days as it may take a few months in other conditions to notice an improvement. Thus, a reasonable trial period for an oral probiotic is two to three months.
Discuss with your doctor or dentist before starting probiotics and any questions or concerns that arise during their use.
Oral vs. gut probiotics
The two major differences when it comes to oral and gut probiotics are the type of organisms included and the method of using the probiotic (swallowing vs. dissolving). Gut probiotics must be protected from the strong acids in the stomach to reach the intestines. A wide variety of strains in high enough quantities are needed to provide beneficial effects in the GI tract.
This is different from oral probiotics which contain strains specific to the oral cavity directed to improve specific conditions. Oral probiotics require being in contact with the tissues of the mouth to attach and produce their effects.
Therefore, due to these significant differences oral and gut probiotics are not interchangeable and are specific to the intended area of the body.
Best probiotics for oral health — conclusion
Proper oral hygiene is necessary to prevent oral diseases such as cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. This should entail brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing your teeth once a day or as directed by your dentist. However, some individuals may wish to include oral probiotics to help bolster their oral hygiene.
Oral probiotics have multiple research studies that have indicated a possible benefit to their use. However, larger studies are needed to confirm the findings of many microbial strains, as well as to determine the most appropriate dose and strains to use. However, before starting any oral probiotic, discuss with your doctor or dentist to make sure they are right for you.
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Does probiotics help with mouth bacteria?
Oral probiotics contain live bacteria strains that have been found to be beneficial in the mouth. Thus, the purpose of an oral probiotic is for it to change the bacteria populations in the mouth. By increasing beneficial bacteria and decreasing harmful bacteria, oral probiotics can help improve oral diseases.
Are oral probiotics better than mouthwash?
Oral probiotics work by changing the bacteria in the mouth to increase the number of good bacteria. Whereas, mouthwash works by killing bacteria in the mouth and when used will kill both good and bad bacteria. Overall, probiotics attempt to provide a long-term solution rather than just keep bacteria in check.
Can probiotics remineralize teeth?
Harmful bacteria metabolize sugars within the food we eat and secrete acids that can break down enamel and demineralize teeth. Once enamel is completely eroded, you can not rebuild it. However, if caught early, probiotics can decrease the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and help remineralize teeth.
Can probiotics reverse gum disease?
Gingivitis and periodontal disease can develop which results in bleeding gums, discomfort, and even loss of a tooth. If caught early, probiotics can help decrease the bacteria responsible for gum disease and may provide anti-inflammatory properties that can improve the symptoms of gingivitis, therefore giving the gums a chance to heal.
- Applied and Environmental Microbiology. A Highly Arginolytic Streptococcus Species That Potently Antagonizes Streptococcus mutans.
- Oral Microbiology and Immunology. Characterization of oral lactobacilli as potential probiotics for oral health.
- Microbial Pathogenesis. Inhibitory effect of probiotic Lactobacillus supernatants from the oral cavity on Streptococcus mutans biofilms.
- BMC Oral Health. Streptococcus salivarius inhibits immune activation by periodontal disease pathogens.
- European Journal of Denistry. Probiotics and Oral Health.
Show all references
- European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Probiotics in addition to antibiotics for the treatment of acute tonsillitis: a randomized, placebo-controlled study.
- New Microbes and New Infections. Alleviation of halitosis by use of probiotics and their protective mechanisms in the oral cavity.
- Swedish Dental Journal. Decreased gum bleeding and reduced gingivitis by the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri.