Effect of Lactobacillus reuteri on early caries lesions

Background: The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of tablets containing probiotic lactobacilli on early caries lesions in adolescents with quantitative light-induced fluorescence (QLF).

Methods: 36 healthy adolescents of both sexes (12-17 years of age) were enrolled and randomly allocated to a placebo-controlled trial with two parallel groups. The test group received two tablets daily containing two strains of Lactobacillus reuteri (DSM 17938 and ATCC PTA 5289) for a period of three months, while the control group got identical placebo tablets without live bacteria.

Results: The primary outcome was QLF-readings (change in fluorescence, ΔF and lesion area, mm2) at baseline and after 3 months, conducted at two buccal sites of each individual, pre-selected with clearly visible clinical signs of enamel demineralisation (white spots). Significantly more premolars were allocated to the placebo group, while the test group had more incisors (P<0.05). There were no statistically significant differences in fluorescence values between the groups, neither at baseline, nor at the follow-up. There was however a significant decrease in fluorescence over time in the test group, but not in the placebo group (P<0.05). No alterations of the lesion area (ΔA) were found in any group. The inter-examiner intra-class correlation coefficient-value for QLF-readings was excellent. No side- or adverse effects were reported during the intervention period.

Conslusion: This pilot study found a significant decrease over time in the test group. However, no statistically significant differences in fluorescence values between the groups were found. Hence, the null hypothesis could not be rejected.



Effect of tablets containing probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus reuteri) on early caries lesions in adolescents: a pilot study. Keller MK, Nøhr Larsen I, Karlsson I, Twetman S. Benef Microbes. 2014 Dec;5(4):403-7. doi: 10.3920/BM2013.0089.

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