Home Improvement

Deck Builders – Why It’s Important to Hire Only Licensed and Bonded Contractors

Professional deck builders like Deck Builders In Stafford VA have the experience to craft a safe, attractive outdoor space that complements your home. They understand local building codes and handle necessary permits, saving you time and hassle.

They can also help you select premium materials such as pressure-treated lumber and IPE wood that resist rot, insects, and wear. Look for a contractor who values effective communication and builds trust.

A professional deck builder can offer many benefits, unlike an amateur or DIY project. They can provide design ideas based on your specific tastes and needs, helping you create an outdoor living space that you will enjoy for years to come. Their knowledge and experience can save you time and money by streamlining the construction process. They can also anticipate potential challenges and mitigate risks, reducing the likelihood of costly errors.

A reputable contractor should be able to provide references from past customers who can vouch for their quality of work. If they cannot do this, it may be worth considering other contractors who can. In addition, they should be able to answer any questions you might have about their services. Ask about their processes and how long they expect the project to take. While it is usually not possible to commit to a precise completion date for any construction project, they should be able to give you a range of dates and explain what will happen if they go over this time.

The quality of the materials a deck builder uses is another important consideration. A reputable company will only use the highest quality materials and ensure that they are installed correctly. This will help to avoid common mistakes that can lead to safety issues, including improper fixing, insufficient load-bearing capacity, and shoddy workmanship.

Another important question to ask is whether or not a deck builder will handle the necessary zoning permits for your project. This can be a complicated process, but it is crucial to get the proper permits to ensure that your deck meets all building and safety codes. A reputable contractor will be familiar with the local zoning rules and will know how to obtain the proper permits quickly.

A good deck builder should be able to provide detailed descriptions of the construction process and the different components involved. This will allow you to compare options and choose the best option for your home. They will also be able to recommend any add-ons that you might want to consider.


You’ve heard your friends and family say it; you’ve read articles about it, and probably did your own research too: Hire only licensed, bonded, insured contractors. But why is that the one piece of advice that seems to be ignored by many homeowners? Aside from ensuring that the contractor has met all state requirements, licensing also guarantees that the builder is liable for any accidents or damages that occur during the project. This can save you from the hassle of going after a builder for compensation.

In addition to having a license, a good deck builder will have insurance coverage and a warranty for their work. This ensures that the builder will be able to repair any damage or defects in the completed deck, which is an important safeguard if something goes wrong during construction. This also means that you can rest assured that the work will be done properly and that the deck will last for years to come.

Most city and town zoning codes require that you obtain a permit to build or replace a deck. This is so that the city or town can make sure the structure is safe and will not impact the neighboring homes. To get a permit, the deck plans must be submitted to the zoning department and passed through a plan examiner who will verify that the structure meets minimum code standards. This process can take some time and is a critical step in building a new deck.

A professional, licensed deck builder will have years of experience and can guide you through the process quickly and efficiently. They’ll have a detailed understanding of the zoning and permitting process for your city or town, and they will know how to navigate these waters. They will be able to expedite the permit process and save you valuable time. In addition, they will be able to guide you through the design and construction process and ensure that your project is built to code. This will prevent costly inspections and repairs down the road. It will also prevent you from facing fines and legal action if the deck isn’t built to code.


When hiring a deck builder, it’s important to verify that they have insurance. This protects you from liability in the event of an accident during construction. It also ensures that the contractor will be able to complete the project on time and within your budget. Make sure to ask for proof of insurance and a valid contractor’s license before starting any work. If a contractor is hesitant to provide this information, it’s a red flag and you should look for another company.

It’s also a good idea to ask for references from past clients and to visit completed projects, if possible. This will give you a better sense of the contractor’s skills and how well they can execute your vision for your new deck. You should also ask about the construction process and any challenges that may arise during the project.

Deck builders should have general liability and workers’ compensation insurance to cover any damages or injuries that occur on the job. In addition, they should have a commercial auto policy to cover any vehicles used for business purposes. If a deck builder does not have these policies, you should avoid hiring them.

Accidental property damage is a common risk for deck construction contractors. If a contractor accidentally damages a client’s property, they could face a large legal bill and ruin their reputation. If a contractor doesn’t have general liability insurance, they might be forced to close their business or struggle financially in the future.

General liability insurance for deck construction contractors also covers any legal claims related to advertising. For example, if a customer feels that your advertising campaign is misleading or defamatory, you may be sued for damages. In addition, deck builders should have completed operations coverage, which provides protection for claims that surface after a project is finished.

When choosing a deck builder, you should always request proof of their insurance and a valid contractor’s license. This will help you make an informed decision and avoid any surprises down the road. In addition, you should also talk to their insurance agent about what type of coverage is best for them and their business.


A local deck builder’s reputation is important because it can help you make a confident decision about which one to hire. In addition to evaluating their previous work, you should check whether they have the necessary licensing and insurance coverage. This will ensure that they meet the legal requirements for their business and that you are protected in case of any unforeseen accidents.

You should also take the time to look at a potential contractor’s website and portfolio. This will give you an idea of the quality of their workmanship and their overall design capabilities. If possible, contact their past clients and ask for references. This will allow you to evaluate their level of professionalism and craftsmanship, as well as their commitment to customer satisfaction.

The digital revolution has changed the way that people find businesses and make decisions about buying services. It is no longer enough to rely on trade shows or word-of-mouth referrals to bring in new customers. Now, it is crucial to implement a solid marketing strategy that will drive traffic to your website and convert visitors into leads.

Online reviews are extremely important for a deck builder’s reputation, and you should encourage your happy customers to leave their feedback online. You can also use a service like Google My Business to improve your ranking on search results by submitting your business’ information and photos to the online directories. This will increase your chances of showing up in the top results when someone searches for your service on their smartphone.

In addition to online reviews, you should make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. This will ensure that users have a positive experience and are more likely to choose your company. Also, remember to post content on a regular basis and schedule posts ahead of time using a scheduling tool like Buffer or HootSuite. This will save you time and help you stay on track with your marketing plan. With these tips, you can set yourself apart from the competition and attract more customers to your deck construction company.

Pest Control

The Basics of Pest Control

Many pests can be managed without the use of pesticides. However, to be effective, pesticides must be selected carefully and applied correctly.

The first step is to remove sources of food, water, and shelter for the pests. Next, barriers and exclusion methods should be employed. Finally, monitoring and trapping should be implemented to reduce the number of pests. Contact Olathe Pest Control now!

Pest identification is a critical first step in any pest management plan. Not only does correct identification help you differentiate a pest from beneficial organisms and determine whether or not control is needed and enables you to apply the most effective treatment. Misidentification can be costly. For example, immature beetles and caterpillars look similar and can be mistaken for one another. In addition, some pests have specific weak points or “windows of opportunity” during their life cycles that are easier to target with control tactics.

Pests include rodents, birds, insects, and other organisms that damage or spoil crops, livestock, gardens, homes, or landscaped areas or threaten human health. Pests are controlled through a combination of prevention, suppression and eradication. Prevention is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound method of controlling pests. It involves inspecting your property regularly, looking for signs of pests, and implementing management strategies that can prevent them from damaging or spoiling plants and structures.

To identify pests, you must be familiar with their biology and ecology. Your county extension office can help you with this. They can provide scouting and monitoring guides, pest fact sheets, weed identification manuals and field guides. They can also provide pest identification services and may charge a small fee for this service.

You can also learn more about pests by checking with online resources, though information posted on the web is often inaccurate. You can also find helpful identification resources at university libraries, in books, and in printed publications available at your local library or Cooperative Extension office.

Once you know how to identify a pest, you can use this knowledge to create an integrated pest management (IPM) plan. An IPM approach emphasizes using less-toxic control methods, such as sanitation and removing the pest’s food source or shelter. It also stresses preventing the pest from gaining access to the area or structures where it is unwanted, such as with tight screens, proper trash removal and storing firewood away from buildings. Proper insect scouting and monitoring, sanitation, moisture management and dehumidification, proper firewood storage, and the use of baits can all contribute to successful pest control.


Prevention is the first stage of pest management. Ideally, it is accomplished by reducing the factors that promote pest occurrence and abundance. This can be done through physical and environmental controls that alter the environment to make it less hospitable. These include proper sanitation and exclusion techniques to reduce pest access to food, water, and shelter. These controls include storing food in sealed containers, disposing of garbage in sealed bins, and keeping lawns and garden areas free of debris where pests may hide.

Monitoring means checking the environment on a regular basis (daily or weekly, depending on the situation) to identify and track pests. This is important because it enables us to know when a pest problem has reached or exceeded a threshold level that warrants control activities. Scouting and monitoring also gives us information about the biology of the pest, its damage potential, and its life cycle, all of which help in deciding whether or not a pest can be tolerated or must be controlled.

Pests can cause a variety of problems in the field, on farms, and in homes and businesses. They can interfere with crop production by competing for the same resources, or they can carry disease-causing agents that could contaminate crops or people. For example, a flea can spread tapeworms and ticks can transmit Lyme disease.

The most effective way to prevent pests is through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. IPM is a method that emphasizes monitoring, identifying and correcting the conditions that lead to pest occurrence, and choosing the most appropriate chemical or non-chemical control methods for each pest. It also includes utilizing preventive tactics such as baits, traps, and habitat alteration to manage pests.

When chemical pesticides are used, it is very important that the label instructions are followed. This is especially true when children are present, as they can be harmed by even small amounts of some pesticides. It is also important that only trained and qualified specialists handle and apply pesticides. Finally, it is important to purchase and store pesticides in their original, properly labeled container. This ensures that the product is not misused or contaminated in other ways and can be stored safely out of reach of children.


Pest control is one of several essential services provided by nature and other organisms that keep pest numbers low enough to prevent serious damage to crops, trees, or wildlife. Insects, other insects-like species, and many birds, reptiles, and mammals are natural predators that can suppress pest populations. Fungi and other microorganisms also suppress some insect pests.

Monitoring pests can help determine when to take action. Typically, this involves looking at the number of pests or their damage, but it can also include checking weather conditions such as temperature and moisture levels. The growth rate of a crop can affect how quickly pests build up. For example, if a plant grows rapidly, it is less likely to be seriously damaged by pests than a slower-growing crop.

In addition to natural enemies, some pests can be controlled through cultural, mechanical, and sanitation methods. Cultural practices that reduce the number of places where pests can hide or find food, such as eliminating debris piles and maintaining clean fields, may help. Sanitation techniques such as cleaning equipment, avoiding carryover of pests from one field to the next, and disposing of manure properly may also help.

The natural landscape in which a field is located can influence the availability of natural enemy species and their ability to suppress pests. Complex landscapes that contain a high proportion of uncultivated land often provide abundant habitat for natural enemies. In contrast, simplified landscapes with a large proportion of cultivated land may limit the abundance and diversity of natural enemy species.

It is important to use all control tactics available when trying to reduce a pest population. However, it is important to consider the cost of these controls, as well as their effect on esthetic, human health, and environmental quality. It is also important to understand that pesticides can fail. The failure of a pesticide to control a pest can be caused by pest resistance, choosing the wrong pesticide, applying the pesticide incorrectly, or other factors. It is also important to know when a control tactic has failed so that it can be replaced with another.


In a broad sense, any species that reduces the availability, quality or value of a resource used by humans can be considered a pest. Thus, the term eradication refers to a process that aims at eliminating or severely curtailing a pest population. In most cases, however, eradication is not possible – and even where it has been accomplished, it is often not fully realized as a “success” since the organism may be present in other areas that are not under control (e.g., in the case of smallpox, Guinea worm and polio).

Attempts at eradication are usually based on a combination of strategies. These can include a range of physical traps and barriers, as well as chemical pesticides. The latter are usually only available to licensed pest control technicians, who are trained in their safe use and handling. Some people are hesitant to let their service providers use pesticides because of concerns about health risks, but most companies take steps to limit exposure and minimize the risk.

Another strategy is to introduce natural enemies of the pest, such as parasites, predators and pathogens. This can be supplemented by genetically altering the pest so that it produces sterile males or is affected by hormones such as pheromones. Eradication campaigns in man-made habitats and in (semi)natural habitats invaded by species that escaped from cultivation are usually more successful than those targeting species that invade via other pathways, but it is difficult to establish whether this difference is primarily because of the level of effort and commitment put into eradication efforts or because of the specific characteristics of the targeted pests.

The likelihood of eradication success has been shown to vary with the size of an infested area and with how quickly the eradication campaign is initiated. In the latter case, starting the campaign within 11 months of the first indication of the pest increased the chance of eradication threefold over reacting to it after this period had passed (Terminal Node 2). Other factors that were important for success included sanitary control and, at the very least, the presence of a buffer zone to keep the invading pest isolated from the rest of the environment.

Pest Control

Why You Should Hire a Mice Removal Service

Mice can cause expensive damage to a home or commercial building, and their droppings can spread diseases. Mice can also contaminate hard-to-reach areas of the house like attics and basements.

Regular pest control services will help prevent mice from entering your home. Make sure to repair any holes in the home and keep wood piles away from the house. Click the Mice Removal Service Texas to know more.

Mice are notorious nibblers and can cause serious damage to human-built structures. They also carry bacteria and viruses that can spread through their urine, saliva, feces and contaminated food. Mice populations grow quickly, so the sooner you take action to prevent an infestation, the better.

A professional mouse exterminator can conduct a thorough inspection and recommend the correct rodent control methods for your home or business. This could include rodent exclusion, baiting and trapping. Our mice control technicians are highly skilled and licensed, continually undergoing rigorous training to keep up with the latest methods of rodent control.

Rodent exclusion involves sealing cracks, crevices, holes and other entry points to stop mice and rats from entering your property. This will typically cost more than simply trapping and baiting a mouse infestation, but it is essential for ensuring that the problem does not return once it has been successfully eliminated.

Mice can squeeze through openings as small as a dime, which they can often enlarge by gnawing. To prevent mice from entering your home, seal all gaps larger than a quarter, including around pipe entry points, foundation vents, doors, soffit vents and gable vents. It is also a good idea to clean the areas beneath sheds and barns and to remove piles of wood, hay and other materials that mice may use to construct nests.

Sanitation is a key part of keeping mice out, so it’s important to throw away all garbage nightly and to clean up any food scraps left on countertops or in open storage. You should also ensure that all pet food is removed from bowls before dusk and that the feeding area is swept regularly. Store dry goods in airtight containers, and be sure to transfer paper, cardboard and plastic bags to tight-fitting lids. You should also eliminate standing water on your property, and be sure to trim vegetation so it does not provide cover or conceal mice from your building.


Mice are very common pests that can cause damage to homes and businesses. They can chew through wiring, destroy insulation and spread dangerous diseases. They can also contaminate food and other items. Hiring a professional mouse control company is highly recommended. Mice exterminators follow well-established procedures that are effective for different species of mice and degrees of infestation.

The first step is a thorough inspection of the affected area. This includes examining the inside and outside of the building to identify possible entry points. Then, they will seal the openings with sheet metal, wire mesh or hardware cloth to prevent mice from entering the property again. They will also inspect the exterior for any signs of rodent activity, such as gnaw marks, droppings or tracks.

Detecting a mouse problem can be difficult, especially since the rodents are nocturnal and very secretive. The most obvious sign is the sighting of droppings, which may be found in a variety of places. These include under sinks, in pantries and near refrigerators. Droppings also tend to clump together, making them easy to spot.

If you have a serious infestation, it’s important to take action immediately. Mice reproduce quickly, so you could have a major problem in no time. In addition, they contaminate food and can carry diseases such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. Mice droppings and urine also make a building smell unpleasant.

Mice can squeeze through gaps as small as a dime. They can enter a home or business through the garage, basement or open spaces. It’s essential to properly seal and rodent-proof these areas, as well as the roof.

A mouse infestation can lead to many expensive repairs, including the replacement of wiring and insulation. Hiring a professional mouse exterminator is the best way to avoid these costs and protect your health and safety.

Unlike homeowners, mouse exterminators are trained to recognize and address all aspects of a mice infestation. They know the most effective pesticides for rodent control and are able to identify entry points into your property. This gives them a significant advantage over a do-it-yourself approach.


Mice can cause a lot of problems when they nest in our homes. They can spread a wide range of diseases to humans, pets, and livestock. They can also gnaw through wires and create serious fire hazards in our homes. In addition to the physical damage they cause, their constant scurrying can make it hard for people and pets to sleep at night.

Luckily, there are some warning signs of a mouse infestation that we can look out for. Some of the most common are piles of droppings, especially around food sources (like unprotected pantry items), and scratching and squeaking noises in walls or attic spaces.

If you see any of these signs in your home, it’s time to call in a professional. Mice are quick to reproduce and a small problem can quickly grow out of control if left untreated. A pest control company can take several steps to prevent a mice infestation.

Before beginning treatment, your Terminix technician will thoroughly inspect your property and develop a customized plan. They may recommend interior sanitation measures like sweeping and vacuuming regularly, keeping food in airtight containers in both the refrigerator and pantry, and cleaning up any fallen fruits or vegetables that can support a mouse population. They will also recommend exterior sanitation measures like removing any vegetation, debris or clutter that provides hiding spots for rodents and repairing any entry points they find.

After your initial treatment, you can expect recurring visits from your pest control specialist to maintain a mice-free environment. They will spray a chemical repellent around your home that lasts anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the application method and how much rain you get. They will also seal off any areas they find that could allow mice to enter your home in the future.

Fumigation is a more involved and expensive option for severe infestations of mice. It is only used by licensed professionals and is generally only recommended when other methods are unsuccessful or unsafe for the homeowner. It involves exposing your entire house to a high concentration of pesticides and keeps you out of the house during the process, so it is only used as a last resort.


Rodent infestations are a serious problem and can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home or business. Rodents also carry a variety of diseases and are known to chew through wires, insulation and other building materials. While mouse traps can help you get rid of the mice that are already inside your home, they don’t stop the mice from coming back. The best way to keep mice out of your house is through rodent exclusion.

Rodents enter homes and buildings through cracks, crevices, holes, and open vents. Over time, many structures develop these openings that invite rodents in, creating a nuisance and a health and safety threat. Our rodent exclusion services target these areas by sealing them, providing a long-term preventative solution to the pest problem and decreasing the need for baits or traps.

A thorough inspection is the first step in the rodent exclusion process. The severity of the infestation and how many potential entrance points are found will influence the cost of the service. The price of the service can also be affected by the type of rodent being targeted. For example, high-climbing species like squirrels will require a greater area of exclusion around the roofline than ground-living species such as mice.

The next step is to minimize “bridges” that offer access to pest harborage. These bridges can include low-growing vegetation or plantings touching a home or building, tree branches overhanging a structure, or open vents that lead to attics or soffits. These bridges need to be removed or screened, and vegetation needs to be properly trimmed away from the building.

A professional pest control company will be well-versed in all the necessary facets of rodent exclusion. They will know how to identify the most likely areas where mice and rats can gain entry to your property, the most effective materials and methods for preventing them from entering, and other important details about implementing preventative measures. This will allow them to provide you with a more efficient and cost-effective service than if you tried doing the work on your own.

Dental Services

Travel Tips To Help You Meet Your Trip Goals

Have you heard horror stories about traveling from your family or friends? Chances are, whatever misfortunes they experienced could have been prevented had they done their homework on traveling. In the following article, you are going to be given advice that could save you from having a horror story of your own.

Keep a picture of your child with you if they get lost. The idea of losing your child likely scares you, but not being prepared is worse. However, it’s important to be prepared because it can happen. If you have a picture of your kids with you, it can help out if they get separated from you in a crowd and you need assistance finding them.

When traveling in a strange city by taxi, ask an independent third party such as a front desk clerk or baggage porter what the right rate is for a trip to your destination. Also set up the rate with the driver before you get into the cab. This helps prevent you from getting ripped off.

If you are traveling overnight or into the early morning, get your doctor’s permission to take a sleeping pill after you board. Eat your breakfast and then drift off to dreamland, and you’ll sleep comfortably through the whole flight. Wait until you are airborne to take your pill though, in case your flight is delayed or must return to the gate.

When you’re taking a trip that requires a passport or any type of paperwork for that matter, make sure that you have a second copy available. Go to your local photocopy shop and make a copy of all of your documents. This is a great way to stay safe, even if you lose your original documents or if they are stolen.

In conclusion, traveling stories can be hard to hear sometimes. If the person you heard these stories from had taken the time to learn more about traveling, it is possible these experiences could have been prevented. Now that you have read this article, you are more prepared for your next traveling adventure!

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Dental Maintenance

Benefits of Oral Probiotics & Best Strains

Probiotics are microorganisms (mainly bacteria) that provide benefits to humans – from the prevention of bad breath and cavities to improved gum health. 

Probiotics in oral health are supported by years of research, although the number of human clinical trials is limited. 

Still, many patients are unaware of the potential benefits that dental probiotics can offer. 

What are dental/oral probiotics?

Oral probiotics (or dental probiotics) are specific strains of bacteria known to support a healthy mouth and improve oral health. They encourage the growth of good bacteria and stop the growth of bad (pathogenic) bacteria.

Like the gut, the mouth has its diverse bacterial community known as the oral microbiome. Dental probiotics are similar to gut probiotics in that they use good (commensal) bacteria to improve the health of the microbiome in the mouth. 

However, they’re not the same as gut probiotics — oral probiotics are most effective when delivered directly to the mouth via lozenges, chewable tablets, milk, or probiotic drinks. Oral probiotics in the form of swallowable tablets do not seem to be as effective. Some kinds of toothpaste contain oral probiotics.

Oral probiotic supplements deliver these bacterial strains directly to your mouth so that they can colonize the surfaces in your mouth and form biofilms.

The use of oral probiotics may offer health benefits because of the way they boost the immune system of the mouth. 

Do oral probiotics really work? Yes, oral probiotics work to improve oral health, especially for people who have existing dysbiosis (a disruption in the balance of bacterial communities) in their oral microbiome. 

One study concluded that dental probiotic supplements not only show promise for the prevention or treatment of oral disease but also cause little to no side effects. However, more research is needed to determine the right dosages and delivery for the best results.

Oral vs. Gut Probiotics

The major differences between gut probiotics and oral probiotics are the types of organisms included in each, as well as the method of delivery.

Gut probiotics contain bacterial strains native to the gut. 

They are delivered in capsules designed to resist the powerful gastric juices and acidic pH of your digestive system. 

Survivability is very important when it comes to gut probiotics. That’s why it’s important to choose a high-quality product with a large number of diverse strains and a high number of Colony Forming Units (or CFUs).On the other hand, oral probiotics, contain beneficial strains specific to the oral microbiome (though there may be some overlap with regular probiotics). 

What are the Best Probiotic Strains to Take?

Oral microbiome probiotic strains considered most beneficial to oral health include:

Lactobacillus reuteriLactobacillus salivariusStreptococcus salivarius K12Streptococcus salivarius M18Lactobacillus paracaseiLactobacillus sakei

Oral probiotics are usually given in the form of lozenges, drinks, mouth rinse, or chewable tablets. 

They are meant to sit in your mouth while they dissolve, thus allowing enough time to inoculate your oral microbiome.

However, the mouth is connected to the rest of the body — for instance, good gut bacteria established during birth and infancy may potentially reduce a child’s risk of cavities.

Benefits of Dental Probiotics

The benefits of dental probiotics are evident in every part of the mouth because a healthy oral microbiome is the key to oral health.

Oral/dental probiotics may prevent or address most oral diseases, such as:

CavitiesGingivitis/periodontitisOral thrush (Candidiasis)Bad breathRespiratory infectionsTonsillitisOral cancer

The good bacteria in oral probiotics can create biofilms to replace those created by undesirable bacteria. These new biofilms not only support the health of teeth and gums and reduce inflammation, but they can also block bad bacteria from reaching enamel or gum tissue to wreak havoc.

1. Oral Probiotics for Cavities

Cavities, or “dental caries”, develop when clusters of bacteria, called plaque, form on teeth and feed on sugar molecules, and excrete acids that break down enamel. 

If you address it early in the process, you can reverse some cavities with dietary and lifestyle changes. Left unchecked, this tooth decay can irreversibly damage the dentin and enamel and require a filling, root canal, or tooth extraction.

Oral probiotic supplements may prevent cavities and plaque buildup. 

The best dental probiotics for cavities include:

L. acidophilusL. paracaseiL. rhamnosusL. reuteriL. caseiL. salivariusBifidobacillusS. thermophilus

Research shows probiotics for teeth can prevent cavities by:

Improving the immunity of the mouth Producing antibacterial compounds to fight certain cavity-causing bacteriaPreventing bad bacteria from attaching to the teethAltering the pH of the mouth to stop cavity growthChanging the saliva quality to improve remineralization of enamel

One of the most problematic bacteria in the development of cavities is called Streptococcus mutans. However, an oral probiotic strain called Streptococcus A12can outcompete the harmful version and prevent plaque buildup.

As of mid-2020, 8 randomized, controlled trials on oral probiotics for dental caries have been completed. 75% of these studies found that the use of dental probiotics reduced cavities. 

However, the doses, strains, study methods, and lengths of study were inconsistent. 

It’s not possible to say for sure exactly what dose, probiotic strain, or length of treatment will effectively reverse or prevent cavities.

2. Oral Probiotics for Gingivitis & Periodontitis

Periodontitis (gum disease) is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects 42% of adults in the US. It is associated with higher rates of diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and more. 

Once you develop gum recession, you can only halt gum disease, not reverse it. That’s why it’s so important to stop gum disease before it does lasting damage.

At least 11 clinical trials show that oral probiotics may improve gum disease symptoms. 

The best oral probiotics for gum disease are:

L. reuteriL. brevis

Improvements in gum disease from oral probiotics include:

Reduced plaque under the gum lineLess bleeding gumsLower gingival index (a marker of gingivitis)Smaller pocket depth (a measurement your dentist uses to spot periodontitis)

Using dental probiotics as part of your oral care routine may reduce inflammation, stop bleeding gums, and crowd out the bacteria that cause gingivitis. 

L. reuterican improve symptoms of gingivitis and gum bleeding, while L. brevis seems to reduce inflammation.

3. Oral Probiotics for Candidiasis/Oral Thrush

Oral thrush, or oral candidiasis, is a fungal condition in which candida fungus (usually C. albicans) overgrows and forms white spots on your tongue. Burning, redness, and dry mouth can result.

This fungal overgrowth is a common symptom of dysbiosis in the oral microbiome. 

The best way to combat this condition is to stop consuming the sugars and carbs that feed the candida yeast. Along with a dietary change, high-quality oral probiotics may help prevent or reverse oral thrush.

Changing your diet will stop candida growth, as it will no longer have an adequate food source. The influx of beneficial bacteria from the oral probiotic will crowd out any remaining candida microbes.

The best oral probiotics for oral thrush/candidiasis are:

Lactobacillus spp.S. salivarius K12

Lab research shows that dental probiotics including Lactobacillus species can stop candida from forming a biofilm in the mouth. 

A 2020 clinical trial found that 30 days of the oral probiotic S. salivarius K12 decreased oral thrush symptoms. It also improved inflammation of oral tissue caused by denture stomatitis, a bacterial overgrowth on dentures. 

4. Oral Probiotics for Halitosis/Bad Breath

3 studies on dental probiotics for halitosis found that good probiotics can reduce VSCs (volatile sulfur compounds) that cause bad breath. An additional study saw no VSC improvement although breath odor improved. 

Oral probiotics are a much better remedy for bad breath than mouthwash. Most mouthwash kills not only bad bacteria but good along with it.

Dental probiotics may stop bad breath by reducing the compounds that cause halitosis.

The best dental probiotics for bad breath include:

S. salivarius K12L. salivariusL. reuteriL. casei

5. Oral Probiotics for Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections are infections of the respiratory tract caused by a variety of viruses or bacteria. Common examples include the common cold, sinusitis, strep throat, and bronchitis.

Oral probiotics may reduce the risk of respiratory infections, particularly in children.

The best oral probiotics for respiratory infections are:

S. salivarius K12S. salivarius M18L. reuteriL. sakeiL. paracaseiL. gasseri

A 2016 animal study found that L. gasseri was able to crowd out significant Group A Streptococcus bacteria responsible for infections like strep throat, scarlet fever, and sore throat. 

Animals who received the oral probiotics contracted Group A strep infections 4 times less frequently and were 15 times less likely to die from the infections than the control animals.

An oral probiotic supplement containing 5 strains of probiotics reduced the risk of children getting a respiratory tract infection by 76% in a 2018 clinical trial.

6. Oral Probiotics for Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils, two oval-shaped pads of tissue at the back of the throat.

Oral probiotics may reduce symptoms of recurrent tonsillitis.

The best probiotic for tonsillitis is S. salivarius K12.

In a 2020 clinical trial, an oral probiotic given for 30 days provided “rapid relief” for symptoms of recurrent tonsillitis. It also resulted in a marked improvement in the microbiome of the upper respiratory tract.

7. Oral Probiotics for Oral Cancer

Oral cancer may develop, in part, due to harmful bacteria in the mouth. 

Correcting dysbiosis of the oral microbiome may decrease the risk of developing oral cancer, although no clinical trials with human patients have confirmed this theory.

According to two reviews published in 2020, oral probiotic strains that may stop oral cancer growth include:

L. rhamnosus GGL. plantarumAcetobacter syzigiiL. salivarius REN

More research is needed to draw serious conclusions.

There is no scientific evidence that oral probiotics can treat or reverse oral cancer in humans. 

How long do oral probiotics take to work?

Depending on the severity of your dysbiosis, oral probiotics may begin working in as little as 1 week.

Most studies on oral probiotics have been conducted for 2-4 weeks. Studies tracking cavity development have been longer, from 9-12 months.

When advising a patient to take oral probiotics, I generally recommend 2-3 months as a baseline treatment period.

How to Take Oral Probiotics

The most effective ways to take probiotics are via chewable tablets or lozenges. These allow the beneficial bacteria to be delivered directly to the surfaces of your mouth where biofilms are formed by bacteria.

For good bacteria to thrive, you must also eat plenty of prebiotics. Prebiotics are fibers that feed probiotic bacteria. 

Prebiotic foods include:

OnionsRaw dandelion greensGarlicArtichokesBananas (especially unripe)Chicory rootAsparagus LeeksRaw jicamaApplesCocoaFlaxseeds

Taking probiotics is unlikely to be effective without prebiotics present in the mouth. In other words, you must consume prebiotics every day for your probiotics to work.


Should I take oral probiotics in the morning or at night?


The best time to take oral probiotics is in the morning after finishing your oral hygiene routine.

How to Choose the Best Oral Probiotic

When choosing an oral probiotic supplement, look for products with a high strain count, which is measured in colony-forming units (CFUs). Find a supplement with at least 3 billion CFUs.

Keep in mind, though, that oral probiotics will usually have a lower strain and CFU count than regular probiotics. 

Look for a probiotic with beneficial strains, such as S. salivarius K12S. salivarius M18L. rhamnosus, and L. reuteri.

Oral probiotics should not be swallowed but chewed or made to melt in the mouth.

You can buy dental probiotics on Amazon or directly from manufacturers. Most oral probiotics are not available at local drugstores or grocery stores.

Probiotic Foods

You may also try adding foods that contain probiotic bacteria to your diet to enhance the benefits of oral probiotic supplements. 

Common probiotic foods include:


There are no published studies that prove these foods will act the same as targeted probiotic supplements for oral health. However, they may offer general benefits to your oral and overall health.

Side Effects of Dental Probiotics

Dental probiotics should not cause side effects. One of the benefits of dental probiotics is that they are “extremely safe” for human use.

Gut probiotic side effects include stomach upset and bloating. No symptoms have been identified for oral probiotic side effects.

If you have a condition that compromises immunity, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease, always talk to your doctor and/or dentist before starting a new probiotic regimen.

The Oral Microbiome

Your oral microbiome is made up of over 700 known species of bacteria that live in the biofilms of your mouth (on the teeth, lips, tongue, and upper/lower palates). 

It serves as your mouth’s immune system — a healthy oral microbiome can reduce rates of tooth decay, periodontal disease, oral thrush, and bad breath. Dysbiosis (imbalance) of the oral microbiome can result in inflammation and a higher risk for any oral disease.

There’s a lot of talk about the gut microbiome and how important it is to your whole body and digestive health, but your oral microbiome may be equally as important.

Balancing your oral microbiome has benefits beyond your mouth, too. Healthy microbial colonies in the mouth can reduce your risk of many systemic diseases. A dysbiotic oral microbiome is associated with problems like:

CancerDiabetesHeart diseaseAdverse pregnancy outcomes (APOs) like miscarriage, preeclampsia, and low birth weightObesityAlzheimer’s diseaseCOPDPneumoniaCognitive impairment

There are specific strains of oral microbes associated with each of these diseases. With predictive testing, your dentist can even test for the presence of these in your mouth and identify if you have an increased risk for these diseases.

Your oral microbiome is the gateway to the rest of your body. Everything that goes in through your nose and mouth passes through your oral cavities, which are home to millions of microbes that make up your oral microbiome.

In addition to the microbes that live in your mouth, you swallow over one trillion microbes every single day. These pass through your oral microbiome and travel down to your gut microbiome, in the process inoculating and reseeding both.

Depending on the health of your oral microbiome, certain microbes make it through this initial checkpoint and have a major say in your overall health. 

This just speaks to the importance of a healthy oral microbiome. 

I can’t state this enough: Whether your mouth maintains an ideal ratio of good-to-bad bacteria directly determines your oral and dental health, as well as the health of your entire body. 

re dental/oral probiotics right for you?

Using oral probiotics for dental health cannot replace oral hygiene, a healthy diet, or 6-month cleanings. However, used with other oral care strategies, dental probiotics can provide a significant benefit to your oral and overall health.

The health of your oral microbiome impacts the rest of the body in ways we are only just beginning to fully understand. Your body is a complex system of interactions, none of which are isolated from the rest of the body. 

As I always say, what happens in the mouth happens in the body.

ReferencesLaleman, I., & Teughels, W. (2015). Probiotics in the dental practice: a review. Quintessence Int, 46(3), 255-64. Full text: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/56ce/6fca0dc78db04ee023991384650b23d6748c.pdfBonifait, L., Chandad, F., & Grenier, D. (2009). Probiotics for oral health: myth or reality?. Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, 75(8). Full text: https://www.cda-adc.ca/jcda/vol-75/issue-8/585.pdfAnanya, B., Rani, S. L., & Brundha, M. P. (2020). Knowledge and attitude of probiotics among outpatients visiting dental operatory. Drug Invention Today, 14(2). Abstract: https://web.a.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=09757619&AN=142963164&h=0nGPW0bD6kP4QHhY21PmF0FPXkSIc7rqid%2fjhWJd57%2fBVPkwhw7tWtb6oSKLX5vnPAw946FY1enN8SdMvVG0FA%3d%3d&crl=c&resultNs=AdminWebAuth&resultLocal=ErrCrlNotAuth&crlhashurl=login.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26profile%3dehost%26scope%3dsite%26authtype%3dcrawler%26jrnl%3d09757619%26AN%3d142963164Darwazeh, T., & Darwazeh, A. (2011). Probiotics and oral disease: An update. Smile Dental Journal, 110(422), 1-6. Abstract: https://platform.almanhal.com/GoogleScholar/Details/?ID=2-21358#Mahasneh, S. A., & Mahasneh, A. M. (2017). Probiotics: a promising role in dental health. Dentistry journal, 5(4), 26. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5806962/Dewhirst, F. E., Chen, T., Izard, J., Paster, B. J., Tanner, A. C., Yu, W. H., … & Wade, W. G. (2010). The human oral microbiome. Journal of bacteriology, 192(19), 5002-5017. Full text: https://jb.asm.org/content/jb/192/19/5002.full.pdfJindal, G., Pandey, R. K., Singh, R. K., & Pandey, N. (2012). Can early exposure to probiotics in children prevent dental caries? A current perspective. Journal of oral biology and craniofacial research, 2(2), 110-115. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942020/Chugh, P., Dutt, R., Sharma, A., Bhagat, N., & Dhar, M. S. (2020). A critical appraisal of the effects of probiotics on oral health. Journal of Functional Foods, 70, 103985. Full text: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464620302097Shakib, P., Rouhi, S., & Zolfaghari, M. R. (2020). The role of probiotics in preventing dental caries. Plant Biotechnology Persa, 2(1), 55-58. Full text: http://pbp.medilam.ac.ir/article-1-40-en.pdfHuang, X., Palmer, S. R., Ahn, S. J., Richards, V. P., Williams, M. L., Nascimento, M. M., & Burne, R. A. (2016). A highly arginolytic Streptococcus species that potently antagonizes Streptococcus mutans. Applied and environmental microbiology, 82(7), 2187-2201. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4807514/Krasse, P., Carlsson, B., Dahl, C., Paulsson, A., Nilsson, A., & Sinkiewicz, G. (2006). Decreased gum bleeding and reduced gingivitis by the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri. Swedish dental journal, 30(2), 55-60. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16878680/Riccia, D. D., Bizzini, F., Perilli, M. G., Polimeni, A., Trinchieri, V., Amicosante, G., & Cifone, M. G. (2007). Anti‐inflammatory effects of Lactobacillus brevis (CD2) on periodontal disease. Oral diseases, 13(4), 376-385. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17577323/Matsubara, V. H., Wang, Y., Bandara, H. M. H. N., Mayer, M. P. A., & Samaranayake, L. P. (2016). Probiotic lactobacilli inhibit early stages of Candida albicans biofilm development by reducing their growth, cell adhesion, and filamentation. Applied microbiology and biotechnology, 100(14), 6415-6426. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27087525/Passariello, C., Di Nardo, F., Polimeni, A., Di Nardo, D., & Testarelli, L. (2020). Probiotic Streptococcus salivarius Reduces Symptoms of Denture Stomatitis and Oral Colonization by Candida albicans. Applied Sciences, 10(9), 3002. Abstract: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/10/9/3002Mansour, N. M., & Abdelaziz, S. A. (2016). Oral immunization of mice with engineered Lactobacillus gasseri NM713 strain expressing Streptococcus pyogenes M6 antigen. Microbiology and immunology, 60(8), 527-532. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27301486/Campanella, V., Syed, J., Santacroce, L., Saini, R., Ballini, A., & Inchingolo, F. (2018). Oral probiotics influence oral and respiratory tract infections in pediatric population: a randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled pilot study. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 22(22), 8034-8041. Full text: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jamaluddin_Syed/publication/329573879_Oral_probiotics_influence_oral_and_respiratory_tract_infections_in_pediatric_population_A_randomized_double-blinded_placebo-controlled_pilot_study/links/5c22138c458515a4c7f71fd9/Oral-probiotics-influence-oral-and-respiratory-tract-infections-in-pediatric-population-A-randomized-double-blinded-placebo-controlled-pilot-study.pdfIlchenko S.I., Fialkovskaya A.A., & Ivanus S.G. (2020). EFFICIENCY OF THE RESPIRATORY PROBIOTIC STREPTOCOCCUS SALIVARIUS K12 IN CHILDREN WITH RECURRENT TONSILLITIS. Actual Infectology, 8(2), 25-29. Abstract: http://ai.zaslavsky.com.ua/article/view/199732La Rosa, G. R. M., Gattuso, G., Pedullà, E., Rapisarda, E., Nicolosi, D., & Salmeri, M. (2020). Association of oral dysbiosis with oral cancer development. Oncology Letters, 19(4), 3045-3058. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7079586/Kamaluddin, W. N. F. W. M., Rismayuddin, N. A. R., Ismail, A. F., Aidid, E. M., Othman, N., Mohamad, N. A. H., & Arzmi, M. H. (2020). Probiotic inhibits oral carcinogenesis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Oral Biology, 104855. Abstract: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003996920302338Stowik, T. A. (2016). Contribution of Probiotics Streptococcus salivarius Strains K12 and M18 to Oral Health in Humans: A Review. Full text: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1484&context=srhonors_thesesLim, Y., Totsika, M., Morrison, M., & Punyadeera, C. (2017). Oral microbiome: a new biomarker reservoir for oral and oropharyngeal cancers. Theranostics, 7(17), 4313. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5695015/Leishman, S. J., Lien Do, H., & Ford, P. J. (2010). Cardiovascular disease and the role of oral bacteria. Journal of oral microbiology, 2(1), 5781. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3084572/Teixeira, F. B., Saito, M. T., Matheus, F. C., Prediger, R. D., Yamada, E. S., Maia, C. S., & Lima, R. R. (2017). Periodontitis and Alzheimer’s disease: a possible comorbidity between oral chronic inflammatory condition and neuroinflammation. Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 9, 327. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5649154/Olsen, I. (2015). From the acta prize lecture 2014: The periodontal-systemic connection seen from a microbiological standpoint: Summary of the Acta Odontologica Scandinavia Price lecture 2014 presented at the meeting of the IADR/Pan European region in Dubrovnik, September 10–13. 2014. Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, 73(8), 563-568. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25891035/Kumar, V., Bhatia, M., & Kumar, A. H. (2020). Microbes from mouth to gut impacting probiotics to antibiotics. Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, 11(2), 83. Abstract: http://www.jnsbm.org/article.asp?issn=0976-9668;year=2020;volume=11;issue=2;spage=83;epage=84;aulast=Kumar

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The Top 3 Manual Toothbrushes I Recommend to Patients


What’s the best manual toothbrush?


I get asked this a lot. For something as basic as brushing twice daily, we sure have made it complicated!

Here, I’ll walk you through…

1. What actually matters when choosing a brush

2. The three that I most commonly recommend

What matters when choosing a brush

The things I look for, in order of importance:

Soft (or extra) soft bristles: This is priority number one. Medium and hard bristles can cause gingival abrasion or create microabrasions in enamel, which can leave the teeth more susceptible to cavities, gum recession, and sensitivity.Quality bristles: This is a must-have because of the potential for bristles to do major damage. I’ve seen this damage first-hand in my patients. When a manufacturer takes shortcuts, the result is low quality bristles with sharp or jagged edges which damage teeth.STOP using medium or hard bristles, which can cause gingival abrasion + create microabrasions in enamel.

Bristles should be
1. soft
2. quality
3. replaced often@AmerDentalAssn seal of acceptance is a good guide for determining bristle quality

— Dr. Mark Burhenne (@askthedentist) February 21, 2021

How Important is the ADA Seal?

The ADA Seal of Acceptance lays out a good framework for how to judge whether bristles are safe. That said, there are some great toothbrushes out there that couldn’t afford going through the ADA Seal process even though they meet the requirements—two of these is included in my list below, the Oral-B and the Nimbus. To qualify for the seal, the manufacturer must provide evidence that their bristles are “free of sharp or jagged edges and endpoints” as well as pay a fee to be able to use the seal in their marketing.

In other words, if you’re in a hurry, the ADA Seal is a good shortcut. But, there aren’t that many brushes that have it. If in doubt, consult your dentist to ask if a brush has quality bristles or not.

Ask the Dentist is supported by readers. If you use one of the links below and buy something, Ask the Dentist makes a little bit of money at no additional cost to you. I rigorously research, test, and use thousands of products every year, but recommend only a small fraction of these. I only promote products that I truly feel will be valuable to you in improving your oral health.

Which Manual Brushes I Recommend

Best Manual Toothbrush for People Who Brush Too Hard

Radius Source

The wide massaging head helps prevent doing enamel and gum damage, since the forces are spread over a great surface area.The Radius Source reduces toothbrush waste by 93%. You keep the same handle and just change the replacement heads.The super-soft vegetable nylon bristles are great for bleeding, receding, or sensitive gums.Personally, I love the grip on this one. This is my personal go-to that I use daily. I also travel with the Radius Travel, which has the exact same head as the regular model.

Best Budget-friendly Manual Toothbrush

Oral-B Cross Action Manual Toothbrush

I gave these out in my private practice for over 30 years, so I’ve seen the long term effects of this brush, so I trust it implicitly. This is the old standby, you can’t go wrong.This brush works out to be just under $2.50 per brush.The value pack size is something I hope will encourage you to replace your toothbrush often (every 4-6 weeks to prevent bristles from wearing out and doing damage).I like to keep these on hand for guests who forgot their toothbrush.

Best Manual Toothbrush for Bleeding or Receding Gums

Nimbus Extra Soft Toothbrushes

This brush does NOT have the ADA Seal of Acceptance, simply because they are a small business that hasn’t paid for it. But it certainly meets the requirements. This is a great example of why the ADA Seal of Acceptance is a good shortcut, but it certainly misses a lot of great brushes.Invented by a periodontist, designed to get in between spaces, which is especially great for people with gingivitis or gum recession.The first time you use this brush, you might notice your teeth don’t feel as clean. Give it time to adjust—your teeth are getting clean without the harsh scrubbing, I promise.The beauty of the Nimbus is that it alerts you to areas in your mouth where you have recession or gingivitis. You’ll notice tenderness whenever the Nimbus bristles come to an area of the gums that inflamed—alerting you to focus a bit more on that area. I noticed this the first time I tried the Nimbus on myself—it caused tenderness in all of my usual areas of inflammation. By knowing the areas I needed to work on, over time, those areas got better! What wonderful feedback to be getting from a toothbrush, and a manual one at that!

So, there you have it. Those are my go-to manual toothbrush recommendations, but certainly not the only great manual brushes to choose from.

To recap, bristles should be…

SoftQuality (Use ADA Seal of Acceptance guidelines to determine this—not necessarily the Seal itself, which is pay to play)Replaced often (every 4-6 weeks, because even the best quality toothbrush will wear out and become too sharp for enamel)

Hope that simplifies things for you a bit! For further reading, I recommend my guide How to Brush Your Teeth to improve your technique as well as my guide to the best electric toothbrushes. 

Referenceshttps://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ada-seal-products/category-display/compare-products/product-report?productid=3987&company=Radius+Corp.https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothbrushesAmerican National Standards Institute/American Dental Association. Standard No. 119 Manual Toothbrushes. Chicago, IL: American Dental Association; 2015.https://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/how-to-earn-the-ada-seal/general-criteria-for-acceptance

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New Study: How Does P. Gingivalis Colonize the Mouth?

A new study, conducted by a team at the University of Buffalo, reports that a bacterium called Veillonella parvula plays a supporting role in causing gum diseases by inducing the multiplication of the pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis.

The aim of the study, published in The ISME Journal, was to understand the ways by which P.gingivalis forms colonies inside the mouth.

The question was how this pathogen could populate without growth molecules. The researchers found out that it obtained growth molecules from Vparvula, a common bacterium of our oral microbiome.

The presence of V. parvula alone is not harmful. It is their proliferation, which occurs in a mouth with poor hygiene, that kickstarts the replication of P. gingivalis.

Highlights of The Study

The researchers at the UB School of Dental Medicine investigated Pgingivalis for around two decades. The study could be summarised as follows:

The study was conducted on a pertinent mouse model and in vitro culture systems and was focused on understanding how the growth molecules controlled the growth and colonization of P. gingivalisFive bacterial species that are prevalent during gum disease were selected and the interaction between the growth molecules of these bacteria with P. gingivalis was tested.Of the five types of bacteria, it was noticed that only the growth molecules of V. parvula influenced the multiplication of P. gingivalis.Another interesting finding was that P. gingivalis stopped multiplying when V. paravula was eliminated from the microbiome. However, the presence of V. paravula was not enough as the replication of P. gingivalis was triggered only when V. paravula existed in a large population.The study suggested that P. gingivalis enjoyed a unidirectional relationship with V. paravula as the sharing of growth molecules brought no obvious advantage to the latter.Apart from the growth molecules, V. paravula forms heme (blood) that served as an excellent source of iron for P. gingivalis.The unidirectional relationship was further confirmed by an increase in periodontal bone loss caused by P. gingivalis in the presence of V.paravula.It remains unclear if the growth-stimulating molecules produced by P. gingivalis are similar to that of V.paravula and more research is needed.

Why This Matters

Over 47% of adults above 30 years of age have some form of gum disease, according to the CDC.

Researchers could formulate specific therapies to manage periodontitis with the help of a deeper insight into the relation between Vparvula and Pgingivalis. Here are a few points that the investigators came up with:

In a person with good oral health, P.gingivalis forms a very small percentage of the microflora inside the mouth and it cannot multiply.On the other hand, in individuals with poor oral hygiene and minimal plaque control, V.parvula multiplies at a rapid rate and produces sufficient growth molecules that can trigger the replication process of Pgingivalis

Therapies that aim at removing V. parvula from the oral microflora can prove beneficial in keeping gum diseases at bay. However, we should bear in mind that their presence alone is not harmful. It is their proliferation, which occurs in a mouth with poor hygiene, that kickstarts the replication of P. gingivalis. Hence, plaque control and maintenance of good oral hygiene are certainly the best ways of preventing and treating periodontal disease.

ReferencesAnilei Hoare, Hui Wang, Archana Meethil, Loreto Abusleme, Bo-Young Hong, Niki M. Moutsopoulos, Philip D. Marsh, George Hajishengallis & Patricia I. Diaz (2020). The ISME Journal Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology. A cross-species interaction with a symbiotic commensal enables cell-density-dependent growth and in vivo virulence of an oral pathogen. Full text: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41396-020-00865-y

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‘Heal Your Oral Microbiome’ Book Review

Many health-related articles and websites point to having a healthy gut microbiome as the key to living an overall healthy lifestyle. However, before the gut microbiome comes into the picture, it’s the oral microbiome that is at the forefront of keeping you and your immune system in good condition. 

Maintaining a healthy oral microbiome is a major focus of my dentistry, so I am always looking for resources that will help guide people in taking the best care of their mouths.

That’s where the book, Heal Your Oral Microbiome, by Cass Nelson-Dooley comes in. This book focuses exclusively on the oral microbiome and teaches you how your mouth paves the way towards full-body health, as well as important steps to take in order to heal and balance your oral microbiome.

It’s the first book of its kind. During 40 years of dental practice, I had never before read information like this- all in one place. Yet, as dentists, we are working with the oral microbiome every day. I’m so happy this information is finally available to patients and dentists alike. This is why I call Heal Your Oral Microbiome a “pillar book.” It’s one of my top four most highly recommended books.

These “Pillar Books” Are Game-Changers in the Field of Dental Health

Heal Your Oral MicrobiomeVitamin K2 and the Calcium ParadoxTongue-TiedJaws

What is Heal Your Oral Microbiome about? 

Heal Your Oral Microbiome dives into the world of bacteria contained within your mouth and offers science-based tips on how you can improve your health by first fixing your mouth-gut microbiome connection. 

Qualified Author

The author, Cass Nelson-Dooley, M.S., began her career in the field of science and natural medicine after she studied medicinal plants in the rain forests of Panama, in 2003. She researched the pharmacology of medicinal plants at the University of Georgia and AptoTec, Inc, and then started a career in laboratory testing at Metametrix Clinical Laboratory. She has over a decade of experience teaching doctors about integrative and functional laboratory results. She owns Health First Consulting, LLC, a medical communications company with the mission to improve human health using the written word. In addition to Heal Your Oral Microbiome, Ms. Nelson-Dooley has published case studies, book chapters, and journal articles about natural medicine, nutrition, and laboratory testing.  

What This Book Will Tell You

From the start of her book, Nelson-Dooley aims for the reader to recognize that the oral microbiome is made up of 99 percent “good,” or necessary, bacteria and only about one percent “bad,” or infectious, bacteria, and the key to having a healthy oral microbiome is actively nourishing those good bacteria instead of trying to kill off the tiny amount of bad ones.

The author highlights the essential roles that the good bacteria in your oral microbiome perform, including protecting you from pathogens, regulating your immune response, making vitamins, and even helping you lose weight. But most importantly, the good bacteria in your oral microbiome help you build up a resistance to infections from any bad bacteria that manage to slip past your defenses. 

Amidst an informative tour of the oral cavity and easy-to-understand scientific descriptions of the most common oral diseases, Heal Your Oral Microbiome focuses on the natural, safe things you can do to optimize your oral microbiome.

Key Tips from the Book

Here are a few key takeaways from Heal Your Microbiome that I found to be the most helpful and that you can easily apply to your day-to-day life. 

Eat more prebiotic-rich foods such as vegetables and fruits to build your oral microbiome

A diet that is low in sugar and refined carbohydrates can encourage a healthier oral microbiome. Sugar and packaged foods (those containing refined carbohydrates) promote dysbiosis of the oral microbiome, which show up as cavities, gum disease, or root canal infections. To feed your healthy oral bacteria with the prebiotics they crave, it’s best to eat whole foods rich in fiber, and eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables. But you can also take prebiotics in a powder form or a chewable, like Hyperbiotics’ Prebiotic.

Boost your dental health and say goodbye to the bacterium that causes stomach ulcers, Helicobacter pylori

It’s hard to believe that brushing and flossing can reduce stomach ulcers, but Nelson-Dooley shows that the mouth is intimately linked to the gut in Heal Your Oral Microbiome. People who get regular dental cleanings can get rid of ulcers and H. pylori more effectively than those who don’t. The benefits of dental hygiene for whole-body health don’t stop there. Brushing and flossing can also lower inflammatory markers in your blood and reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Stay away from antiseptic mouthwashes

Bacteria that live in your mouth help you make a chemical called nitric oxide, which plays a critical role in your cardiovascular system by making blood flow smoothly. However, using antiseptic mouthwash usually kills both the bad and good bacteria in your mouth. And once the good bacteria is damaged, it can no longer produce nitric oxide, and your blood pressure can increase.

Final Thoughts on Heal Your Oral Microbiome

Heal Your Oral Microbiome is a must read if you truly want to understand oral health and how it affects the health of your overall systemic wellbeing. I have been practicing dentistry for 40 years and I think this should be required reading in dental schools. Easily read by both the layperson and professional, this book is a healthcare gem, and will, by reading it, greatly improve the quality of your life. An essential read for better health!

The post ‘Heal Your Oral Microbiome’ Book Review appeared first on Ask the Dentist.

Dental Services

Best Black Friday Deals on Oral Care Products

Happy Thanksgiving!

This entire week is a great time to get deals on electric toothbrushes, hydroxyapatite toothpaste, and much more.

Many of you have asked me via Instagram for a round-up of the Black Friday deals for my favorite oral care products, so here we go:

Boka Holiday Kit

Best All-in-One Deal with Everything I Recommend

Black Friday Deal: Use the link here and save an additional 15% by using the code ASKTHEDDS at checkout.

What It Is: Overall, this is the best deal with the full suite of everything I recommend: a sonic electric toothbrush which outperforms oscillatory electric brushes at getting into the in-between spaces, two replacement heads two tubes of hydroxyapatite toothpaste, and two manual brushes and floss.

Why I Like It:

This is the hydroxyapatite toothpaste I use daily, which has cured my sensitivityThe active ingredient, hydroxyapatite, is as effective as fluoride in re-mineralizing tooth structure, but without the toxicity concerns of fluorideThe refills program, because so much of gum recession and sensitivity is caused by not replacing toothbrush heads as often as we should (every 4-8 weeks)

Sonicare DiamondClean

Best Sonic Brush with App

Black Friday Deal: Get it here for 11% off starting today

What It Is: Rechargeable electric toothbrush with Bluetooth connectivity

Why I Like It:

Sonic brushes are better than oscillatory at reducing gingival inflammation and reaching in between the teeth and gumsThe connected app has good UX and shows you which areas you missed, which is the next best thing to getting a dentist’s live feedback on your brushing

Oral-B Vitality

Best for Staining

Black Friday Deal: Get it here for 29% off starting today

What It Is: The best budget electric toothbrush that I recommend for anyone with a high-carbohydrate diet, lots of plaque and/or stain buildup)

Why I Like It:

If you don’t care about any of the bells and whistles, and just want an electric toothbrush that does a quality job with no gimmicks, this is itReduces plaque and gingivitis more than manual toothbrushes, without any injury to gums

For Babies, Toddlers & Kids

Melissa & Doug Dentist Kit

Best Kids Gift

Black Friday Deal: Get it here for 27% off starting today while supplies last

What It Is: Dentist Kit with pretend play set of teeth and dental accessories (26 Toy Pieces)

Why I Like It:

For years, I’ve wanted to get my granddaughter a dental play kit. But all of them are way too scary—except for this one, which launched just last month. Kids learn via play, and this play kit teaches habits they’ll carry into adulthood.Eases fear and anxiety for positive, stress-free dentist visits

RiseWell Hydroxyapatite Kids Toothpaste

Best Fluoride Alternative

Black Friday Deal: Get it here and save 10% by using the code ASKTHEDENTIST upon checkout

What It Is: A hydroxyapatite toothpaste for kids made of 100% safe and natural ingredients that effectively clean and protect the teeth

Why I Like It:

Made with naturally-derived hydroxyapatite, a mineral that makes up 90% of our tooth enamelAs effective as fluoride in re-mineralizing tooth structure without the concerns of fluorideMy granddaughter loves the birthday cake flavor

Jordan Step 1 Baby Toothbrush

Best Baby Brush

Black Friday Deal: Get it here for 33% off starting today

What It Is: My favorite toothbrush for babies 6-12 months old

Why I Like It:

Soft bristles ensure a positive experience from day oneLarge rubber handle is easy for babies to hold, hard to choke on

DrFormulas Nexabiotic Powder

Best Probiotic Supplement

Black Friday Deal: Get it here for 21% off starting today

What It Is: Probiotic powder for babies and kids

Why I Like It:

Formula contains both prebiotics and probiotics, both of which are needed to properly support bacterial diversity in a developing oral microbiomeCan be mixed in with both formula or breast milk


RiseWell Hydroxyapatite Floss

Best for Chronic Cavities

Black Friday Deal: Get it here and save 10% by using the code ASKTHEDENTIST upon checkout

What It Is: World’s first and only hydroxyapatite-infused dental floss, letting you get hydroxyapatite to the areas in-between teeth where cavities are most likely to occur in most cases

Why I Like It:

Delivers re-mineralizing hydroxyapatite to overlooked tight spots between teeth (which is where most cavities develop)Floss glides comfortably and smoothly, while expanding slightly for more effective cleaning


Somnifix Mouth Tape

Best Mouth Tape

Black Friday Deal: Use this link to get 15% off the one-pack and three-packs, plus 33% off auto ship

What It Is: Mouth taping is the best health hack out there, in my opinion. By mouth taping nightly, you’ll improve your sleep quality, snoring, dry mouth, immunity, nitric oxide production, and even your susceptibility to cavities.

Why I Like It:

Does not hurt when it comes offSticky enough to keep your lips closed during sleep, while allowing for your mouth to easily open if you have serious issues breathing through your nose at night

Nexcare Mouth Tape

Best Budget Mouth Tape

Black Friday Deal: Get it here for 6% off starting today

What It Is: Best budget mouth tape

Why I Like It:

OK, it’s only 6% which isn’t much, but if you’re on a budget, this is the best budget alternative to SomnifixDoes not hurt when it comes off

Good Morning Snore Solution

Best for People with Large Tongues

Black Friday Deal: Get it here and save 30% off by using the code BFBOGO for Good Morning Snore Solution Multi Packs

What It Is: Tongue retention device

Why I Like It:

Helps to open up the airway for better sleep breathing by holding the tongue out of the way and preventing it from collapsing during deep stages of sleepIt’s a non-invasive way to see if you benefit from airway-related therapies

Molekule Air Purifier

Black Friday Deal: Get it here and save up to $300 by using the code EARLYACCESS for all their products (except filter parts and Air Pro RX)

What It Is: These purifiers are quieter than most and with their PECO (Photo Electrochemical Oxidation) technology, it actually destroys pollutants, including VOCs and mold.

Why I Like It:

No matter how you eat or how much you exercise, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly, and that is largely affected by the quality of the air you breatheMy wife and I have one in every room of the house and have noticed the difference in congestion levels during the dayReducing congestion is essential to better nasal breathing, and thus, better sleep quality, which I’m even more obsessed with after reading (and collaborating on) James Nestor’s book, Breath (a must-read!)

Naväge Nasal Care

Black Friday Deal: Get it here for 9% off

What It Is: Nose cleaner and 20 salt pods

Why I Like It:

Flushes everything out for all-important nasal breathing during sleepWorks for fast, all-natural relief from allergies and sinus congestion without the use of drugs

The post Best Black Friday Deals on Oral Care Products appeared first on Ask the Dentist.

Dental Care

Literature favours air purifiers as COVID-19 transmission risk mitigant

LEIPZIG, Germany: The pandemic has been a trying time for dentists, particularly for owner-dentists who must make decisions that may influence the safety of their treatment team. Recent studies have found that the rate of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in dental settings has been lower than what was expected when the pandemic was declared, and the literature has shown that air purifiers could play a role in keeping transmission rates down.
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