When brushing and flossing do not put an appreciable dent in bad breath, oral care probiotics may be able to take up where these products leave off. Unlike pastes and rinses that contain microbicides, probiotics merely introduce new strains of microorganisms into the oral environment, where, with luck, they begin to replace those that cause halitosis.
Products like the Aktiv K-12 Probiotics can deliver such bacteria and may be able to leave breath smelling sweeter while moistening the mouth.
In that vein, a study published in the journal Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontology recently found that individuals who used a probiotic product containing Lactobacillus salivarius experienced dramatic reductions in bad breath after just four weeks.
Measuring participants' oral odor levels involved using a halimeter, which is a device that detects gaseous volatile sulfur compounds created by anaerobic bacteria on the tongue. These molecules constitute the essence of the smell of halitosis.
A month after the new, beneficial microbes had first been introduced to the tongue and palate, the L. salivarius microorganisms had reduced odor concentrations enough that organoleptic - or nose-based - tests also indicated fresher breath.