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Role of prebiotics and probiotics in oral health

Richard Frank Tester (Glycologic Limited, Glasgow, UK)
Farage H. Al-Ghazzewi (Glycologic Limited, Glasgow, UK)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 12 February 2018




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.



Tester, R.F. and Al-Ghazzewi, F.H. (2018), "Role of prebiotics and probiotics in oral health", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 48 No. 1, pp. 16-29.



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