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Effects of Lactobacillus reuteri-containing lozenges on healing after surgical removal of mandibular third molars: a randomised controlled trial.

  • 2019-07-10
  • Beneficial Microbes 10(6)
    • Dan-Åke Wälivaara
    • I. Sjögren
    • N. Gerasimcik
    • T. Yucel-Lindberg
    • S. Twetman
    • P. Abrahamsson


We investigated the effect of probiotic supplements on oral wound healing, swelling, pain and discomfort after surgical removal of mandibular third molars. A second aim was to evaluate if the intervention could influence the concentrations of oxytocin in saliva. Sixty-four consecutive volunteers (18-34 years) were enrolled to a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial with two parallel arms. Following surgery, the patients were asked to take three lozenges per day containing two strains of Lactobacillus reuteri (DSM 17938 and ATCC PTA 5289) or placebo for two weeks. The clinical healing and extra-oral swelling were scored two weeks post-operatively. Samples of wound exudate were cultivated for the presence of Staphylococcus aureus and β-haemolytic streptococci. Salivary oxytocin concentrations were analysed from pre- and post-surgery samples using ELISA technique. Compliance and the subjective perception of swelling, pain and discomfort were reported daily through visual analogue scales in a logbook. All patients except three completed the protocol and the postoperative course was uneventful in most cases. Minor extra-oral swellings were noted in five patients, but none required antibiotic treatment. At the 2-week follow-up, there were no significant differences in clinical wound healing index, extra-oral swelling, bacterial growth or salivary oxytocin levels between the groups. The self-reported data unveiled, however, a significantly reduced sense of swelling, in particular during the second week after surgery in the probiotic test group (P<0.05). Likewise, significantly fewer nights with disturbed sleep and fewer days with sick-leave from work were reported among the participants in the test group (P<0.05). No differences were found in the post-operative use of analgesics. In conclusion, we found no significant influence of probiotic supplements on objective wound healing after surgical extraction of impacted mandibular third molars. However, since the patients' perceived significant post-operative ameliorations, further studies are needed to explore the patient's value of the intervention.

Keywords: oral wound; oxytocin; probiotics; streptococci.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289Reduced Frequency of Disturbed SleepBeneficial
Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289Reduced Joint SwellingBeneficial
Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289Reduced Sick Leave DaysBeneficial

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