This paper aims to focus on the utilisation of pre- and probiotics for oral care and the state of knowledge at this time.
Pre- and probiotics describe beneficial carbohydrates and microbiota, respectively, for optimal gut health. Carbohydrates provide energy selectively for the gut-friendly bacteria. The use of both carbohydrates and bacteria is, however, being expanded into other areas of the body – including the skin, vagina and oral cavity – for health-related applications.
There is increased interest in both pre- and probiotics for oral care products. The importance of oral microflora and their selective substrates is discussed against a background of contemporary oral care approaches. The issues and benefits are discussed in this review.
It is clear that consumption of prebiotics and probiotics may play a role as potential prophylactic or therapeutic agents for reducing the presence of organisms in the mouth associated with tooth decay. To confirm a beneficial effect of pre- and probiotics further in vivo studies involving healthy human volunteers should be considered.
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