A prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled trial to study the effect on gingivitis and dental plaque of a probiotic chewing gum and the occurrence of the probiotic in saliva.
The 59 subjects suffering from moderate to severe gingivitis were randomly assigned to one of three different chewing gums, containing one of two Lactobacillus reuteri strains, LR-1 and LR-2, respectively, or a placebo gum. On Day 0 the dentist cleaned all surfaces and the patients were instructed regarding daily oral hygiene and to use the chewing gum twice daily after brushing their teeth.
After 14 days the subjects visited the dentist for outcome assessments. Gingival index fell significantly in all groups. Lactobacillus reuteri group 1, but not group 2, improved significantly more than placebo (p<0.0001). Plaque index fell significantly in both Lactobacillus reuteri groups between day 0 and 14, while there was no significant change in the placebo group. Both probiotic strains colonised the saliva, LR-1 in 65% of the patients and LR-2 in 95% of the subjects.
Fig. 1 Distribution (%) of gingival index (G.I.) scores at Day 0 (left) and Day 14 (right).
Conclusion: Lactobacillus reuteri was efficacious in reducing both gingivitis and dental plaque in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis.