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Arch Oral Biol. 2002 Nov;47(11):799-804.

Short-term consumption of probiotic-containing cheese and its effect on dental caries risk factors.

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Division of Nutrition, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


Cheese is known to contain compounds that reduce the risk of dental caries. The long-term consumption of milk containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, ATCC 53103 (LGG), has been shown to reduce caries risk in children. The aim of the present study was to examine whether short-term consumption of cheese containing LGG and Lactobacillus rhamnosus LC 705 would diminish caries-associated salivary microbial counts in young adults. Altogether, 74 18-35 year-old subjects completed this double-blinded, randomised, placebo-controlled study. During the 3 week intervention, the subjects ate 5 x 15 g cheese per day. Oral examinations were made before and after the study. Stimulated salivary secretion rates, buffer capacity and counts of salivary Streptococcus mutans, yeast and lactobacilli were evaluated before and after the intervention and after a 3 week post-treatment period. The results showed no statistically significant difference between the groups in Streptococcus mutans counts after the intervention, but during the post-treatment period there was a significantly greater reduction in these counts in the intervention group compared to the control group (P=0.05). However, Streptococcus mutans counts decreased in 20% (P=0.01) and yeast counts in 27% (P=0.005) of all the subjects, regardless of the intervention group. Results from logistic regression showed a trend indicating that probiotic intervention might reduce the risk of the highest level of Streptococcus mutans (OR=0.37, 95% CI 0.08-1.75, P=0.21) and salivary yeasts (OR=0.40, 0.09-1.71, P=0.22).

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