Probiotic Reduces Mucositis Associated with Dental ImplantsAccording to a study epublished in February 2015, supplementation with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri improves mucositis, an inflammation of mucous membranes, related to dental implants. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports that three million Americans have dental implants and that number increases by 500,000 per year.

Researchers evaluated 34 edentulous subjects with 77 dental implants. The subjects received the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis daily for 30 days followed by a six-month period without any supplementation followed by 30 days supplementation with a placebo. The investigators assessed crevicular fluid volume, modified plaque index, probing depth, modified gingival index, and concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL) 1-beta, IL-6, and IL-8.

The researchers determined that 22 subjects with 54 implants did not have mucositis and 12 subjects had mucositis in one or more of their 23 implants. Probiotic supplementation showed improvements in the clinical parameters, with reductions in cytokine levels in both the subjects with and without mucositis. The investigators did not find any changes with placebo.

The study authors stated, “After treatment with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri in patients with implants presenting mucositis, the clinical parameters improved, and the cytokine levels decreased in contraposition to the observations in the placebo group. Probiotic administration may be regarded as a good alternative for both the treatment of peri-implant mucositis and its prevention, as it also improved clinical parameters in the healthy individuals. Further studies involving larger patient series are needed regarding the effects of probiotics upon peri-implant health.”

Reference: Flichy-Fernández AJ, et al.  J Periodontal Res. 2015 Feb 25.