Are we ready for caries prevention through bacteriotherapy?

Braz Oral Res. 2012:26 Suppl 1:64-70. doi: 10.1590/s1806-83242012000700010.


Recent insights in medical science indicate that human biofilms play an important role in health and well-being, and have put microbiota modulation through bacteriotherapy into focus. In dentistry, bacterial interference with probiotic bacteria to support the stability and diversity of oral biofilms has gained similar interest. Investigations in vitro into metabolic activity, co-aggregation, growth inhibition, bacteriocin production, and adhesion have collectively suggested a potential role for probiotic lactobacilli and bifidobacteria to modulate the oral microbial ecology. Likewise, short-term clinical studies with intermediate microbial endpoints indicate that interference with caries-associated bacteria seems possible through probiotic dairy products, tablets, lozenges and chewing gum in various dose regimens. Few randomized controlled clinical trials with caries outcomes are available, but three studies with preschool children and the elderly have demonstrated preventive fractions between 21% and 75%, following regular intake of milk supplemented with probiotic lactobacilli. However, further large-scale trials with orally derived anti-caries candidates are needed before we can say that we are ready for bacteriotherapy as an adjunct to complement the existing evidence-based methods for preventing and controlling caries in daily practice.

MeSH terms

  • Antibiosis / physiology
  • Bacteria / immunology
  • Biofilms
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Mouth / microbiology
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*