Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 2763–2785 | Cite as

Are dairy products containing probiotics beneficial for oral health? A systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Patricia Nadelman
  • Marcela Baraúna Magno
  • Daniele Masterson
  • Adriano Gomes da Cruz
  • Lucianne Cople MaiaEmail author



To evaluate the effect of probiotic containing in dairy products on oral and salivary parameters.

Material and methods

Electronic searches were performed based on the PICO criteria. Randomized controlled trials in adults/children (P) in which dairy products containing probiotics (I) were compared to controls (C) for establishment of oral health (O) were included. Risk of bias and data extraction were performed. The meta-analysis evaluated the influence of probiotics on Streptococcus mutans (SM), Lactobacillus spp. (LB), and yeast counts, plaque index, and salivary pH. Random or fixed effect models were used, and heterogeneity was tested.


Thirty-two studies were included in the qualitative synthesis, and 24 in the meta-analysis. For dichotomous results, individuals who consumed probiotics exhibited decreased scores in SM concentrations (RD 0.15 [0.02, 0.28] p = 0.03, I2 = 70%), but no change was observed for LB (RD 0.10 [− 0.03, 0.23] p = 0.13, I2 = 94%), or yeast levels (RD 0.05 [− 0.02, 0.12] p = 0.7, I2 = 48%). For continuous analysis, both probiotic and control groups presented similar results for SM and LB (MD − 0.55 [− 1.16, 0.07] p = 0.08, I2 = 62%, and RD 0.10 [− 0.03, 0.23] p = 0.13, I2 = 94%, respectively). The consumption of probiotics increased salivary pH (MD 0.20 [0.04, 0.35] p = 0.01, I2 = 46%) and plaque index (MD 0.38 [0.11, 0.65] p = 0.005, I2 = 0%). The probiotic milk reduced SM (MD − 0.59 [− 0.96, − 0.22] p = 0.002, I2 = 0%), and the probiotic yogurt decreased LB counts (RD 0.35 [0.19, 0.51] p < 0.0001, I2 = 0%).


In general, dairy probiotics were effective in reducing SM, increasing salivary pH, and promoting a higher plaque index. Liquid matrices, such as milk and yogurt, seem to be more effective in reducing SM and LB levels.

Clinical relevance

Consumption of dairy products containing probiotics could be a supporting method in caries prevention.


Probiotics Dairy products Dental caries Gingivitis Periodontitis Candidiasis 



For their cooperation in this systematic review, the authors would like to thank Dr. Supatcharin Piwat, Dr. H. Jentsch, Dr. Naser Aminabadi, Dr. Ashwin Devasya, Dr. Svante Twetman, and Dr. Jukka H. Meurman, who graciously provided information not given in the published texts of their previous studies.

This study was conducted during master stage of Patricia Nadelman under the supervision of the Prof. Lucianne Cople Maia. This study was partially supported by CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel), FAPERJ (Foundation for Research Support of the State of Rio de Janeiro), and CNPQ (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) from the Brazilian Government.


The authors received the financial support from the CAPES (DS), FAPERJ (E-26/202.174/2016), and CNPq (401058/2016-6). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest for any of the authors that might introduce bias or affect their judgment.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, School of DentistryUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Central Library of the Health Science CenterUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Ciência e Tecnologia do Rio de Janeiro (IFRJ), Departamento de AlimentosInstituto Federal de EducaçãoRio de JaneiroBrazil

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