Dental Probiotics: A Better Way to Fight Bad Breath

Good Oral Health with Dental Probiotics

Dental Probiotics can restore the balance and improve your oral health overall. A research study suggests that these probiotics can reduce bad breath by eliminating the harmful bacteria that cause bad breath.

There are many causes for bad breath, including lack of oral hygiene, dry mouth, and ear-nose-throat issues. Eighty-five percent of the time breath malodor arises from insufficient oral hygiene, such as periodontitis, coating of the tongue, and lack of plaque control. These conditions in the mouth favor the formation and microbial degradation of offensive smelling volatile sulfur compounds (VSC).

A Better Way to Fight Bad Breath with Dental Probiotics
A Better Way to Fight Bad Breath with Dental Probiotics

The advantage of using oral probiotics

Over-the-counter dental products used for fighting bad breath focus on masking the odor or attempting to kill bacterial culprits in the oral cavity. 

Some of these products specifically target VSCs. The problem with this is that bacteria repopulate quickly, so the relief from bad breath is usually short-lived.

Another aspect to consider is that when a bacterial population is reduced, something always replaces it, whether good or bad. This is where dental probiotics step in to combat bad breath in an entirely different way.

Dental probiotics focus on promoting the growth of good bacteria in the oral cavity and curtailing the growth of pathogenic bacteria. 

There are normally more than 700 different bacterial species found in the human mouth.

With dental probiotics, daily exposure helps to colonize the oral cavity with bacteria that do not produce VSCs. 

Research has shown that 85% of people who took oral probiotics for one week experienced a significant reduction in volatile sulfur compounds.

Even more impressive is the fact that the majority of study participants maintained a reduced level of VSCs for two weeks following exposure to oral probiotics. With this treatment modality, there is finally potential for a more long-term solution to bad breath.

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How dental probiotics differ from conventional probiotics

When most people think of “probiotics,” yogurt comes to many of their minds. It is common knowledge that we need beneficial bacteria for gut digestion to properly occur. One of the most well-known species is Lactobacillus, which is commonly found in yogurt and other fermented foods.

Bifidobacterium is another beneficial species that can be found in the gut days after birth. Saccharomyces boulardii is the only probiotic that is a yeast.

Dental probiotics are completely different from the probiotics needed for digestion. Specifically, the Streptococcus salivarius strains K12 and M18 have been found to be especially beneficial when it comes to the health of the oral cavity.

K12 is the strain that is effective in combating bad breath. Gut probiotics typically come in capsule form so they can reach the stomach and quickly begin to do their job. 

Oral probiotics, on the other hand, are typically in the form of a lozenge that is chewed or sucked on after normal oral care. 

Using a lozenge provides longer exposure time than other methods so that more bacteria are able to colonize the oral cavity.

One of the most amazing things about oral probiotics is that they have multiple applications beyond simply treating oral malodor. Conditions such as dental caries, gingivitis, periodontitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and oral candidiasis are all inhibited by exposure to the K12 and M18 strains of S. salivarius.

These additional benefits hold much promise in dentistry, as many patients have difficulty with home care and these probiotics are easy to use.

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Conclusion

Although only a few clinical studies have been conducted so far, the results to date suggest that probiotics could be useful in preventing and treating oral infections, including dental caries, periodontal disease and halitosis.

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