Unlocking the potential of probiotic administration in caries management: a systematic review

Pedro C. Lopes, Ana T. P. C. Gomes, Karina Mendes, Letícia Blanco, Maria J. Correia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Background The use of prebiotics and/or probiotic bacteria with the potential to modulate the oral ecosystem may play an important role in the prevention and management of dental caries. To assess the evidence of the potential of pre/probiotics both in the prevention and treatment of dental caries, we focused on the PICO question “In individuals with caries, after probiotic administration, is there an improvement in outcomes directly related to caries risk and development?“. Methods An extensive systematic search was conducted in electronic databases PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus and Cochrane, to identify articles with relevant data. This systematic review included trials performed in Humans; published in English; including the observation of patients with caries, with clear indication of the probiotic used and measuring the outcomes directly involved with the cariogenic process, including the quantification of bacteria with cariogenic potential. To evaluate the methodological quality of the studies, the critical assessment tool from the Joanna Briggs Institute was used. Results Eight hundred and fifty articles, potentially relevant, were identified. Following PRISMA guidelines 14 articles were included in this systematic review. Outcomes such as reduction of cariogenic microorganism counts, salivary pH, buffer capacity, and caries activity were assessed. The probiotic most often referred with beneficial results in dental caries outcomes is Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus. Regarding the most used administration vehicle, in studies with positive effects on the caries management, probiotic supplemented milk could be considered the best administration vehicle. Conclusions Evidence suggests a beneficial effect of probiotic supplemented milk (Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus) as an adjuvant for caries prevention and management. However, comparable evidence is scarce and better designed and comparable studies are needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number216
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Oral Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2024


  • Dental caries
  • Probiotics
  • Caries risk
  • Caries management


Dive into the research topics of 'Unlocking the potential of probiotic administration in caries management: a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this