Probiotics vs. antibiotics for periodontal disease Original paper

In this meta-analysis, taking antibiotics had mostly no effect on periodontal disease outcomes when added to professional dental cleaning and probiotics. However, the low to very low quality of evidence reduces our confidence in these findings.

This Study Summary was published on February 5, 2024.

Quick Summary

In this meta-analysis, taking antibiotics had mostly no effect on periodontal disease outcomes when added to professional dental cleaning and probiotics. However, the low to very low quality of evidence reduces our confidence in these findings.

What was studied?

The effect of taking probiotics and/or antibiotics on outcomes in periodontal disease (e.g., in periodontitis or gingivitis).

The primary outcomes measured were changes in probing pocket depth (the size of the pockets between the tooth and gum) and clinical attachment loss (how much the gums have pulled away from the teeth). The secondary outcomes measured were changes in plaque index, gingival index, and bleeding on probing (i.e., on examination).

Who was studied?

A total of 360 participants (ages 14 to 60).

How was it studied?

This meta-analysis examined 10 studies in which the participants received treatment with either probiotics, antibiotics, or probiotics + antibiotics.

Notably, the participants in the probiotics (and probiotics + antibiotics) groups also received a professional deep cleaning (i.e., scaling and root planing).

Nine probiotic strains were examined, 6 of which were from the Lactobacillus genus, 2 from the Bifidobacterium genus, and 1 from the Saccharomyces genus. Antibiotics were given by mouth rinse (containing chlorhexidine) or were orally ingested (e.g., doxycycline).

Of the studies, 6 were conducted in India and 1 each in Brazil, Chile, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

What were the results?

Gingival index improved in the antibiotics group, compared with the probiotics group (6 studies).

There were no other differences between the groups.

The quality of the evidence was ranked low to very low.

This Study Summary was published on February 5, 2024.