Purpose: The prevalence of Candida infections has been rising with an increasingly aging population and a larger population of immunocompromised individuals. The use of probiotics may be an alternative approach to antifungal agents in the prevention and treatment of oral candidiasis. This study aimed to evaluate the short-term effect of probiotics in reducing the infection level of oral Candida in candidiasis-asymptomatic elderly denture wearers.
Materials and methods: In a double-blind randomized study, 59 denture wearers harboring Candida spp. in the oral cavity with no clinical symptoms were allocated into two groups: probiotic and placebo. All patients were instructed to clean the denture daily. The probiotic group poured a capsule containing lyophilized Lactobacillus rhamnosus HS111, Lactobacillus acidophillus HS101, and Bifidobacterium bifidum daily on the palatal surface of the maxillary denture, whereas the placebo group was submitted to the same regimen using placebo capsules. Candida spp. infection levels were evaluated in palate mucosa samples obtained before and after a 5-week experimental period.
Results: All patients harbored Candida in the palate mucosa at baseline. Fifty-five individuals completed the experimental period. The detection rate of Candida spp. was 92.0% in the placebo group after the experimental period, whereas it was reduced to 16.7% in the probiotic group. The reduction promoted by the probiotic regimen was independent of baseline characteristics such as Candida infection level and colonizing species, age of denture, and other variables.
Conclusion: The probiotic product was effective in reducing the colonization of the oral cavity with Candida in candidiasis-asymptomatic elderly denture wearers, suggesting that this multispecies probiotic could be used to prevent oral candidiasis.
Clinical implications: Colonization of oral surfaces by Candida is considered a risk factor for invasive fungal infections. The use of a product with L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilus, and B. bifidum may represent an alternative treatment for reduction of Candida infections in elderly denture wearers.
Keywords: Candida; Lactobacillus; Probiotics; complete denture; denture stomatitis.
© 2014 by the American College of Prosthodontists.