Many oral health providers are beginning to see possible benefits from the use of probiotics to treat conditions like bad breath and gingivitis. It is believed that applying benign microbes to the oral cavity may help reduce the number of odor-causing bacteria. The idea is gaining traction, as a number of groups are reporting positive results from the use of probiotics.
For example, organizers of this year's Oktoberfest in Germany recently announced that they would be using bacteria to control the smell at various events, according to London's Telegraph. Groups say that the smell of stale beer, rich foods and bad breath caused by combinations of bratwurst and beer necessitated the move.
Ricky Steinberg, the owner of bar in Germany, told the news source that he and several other bar owners will pour a solution containing odor-fighting bacteria on their floors to soak up stenches created by festival goers.
"You hear from nightclub owners that the smell has gotten very bad," he said.
This will be the first year that festival organizers will use probiotics to control the smell at events. While the concept may be new to Oktoberfest, it has a longer history in oral care. Experts have advocated in recent years for an expansion in the use of the beneficial bacteria in the treatment of conditions like gingivitis and bad breath.
Evidence has been mounting to support this position. A recent study from an Indian researcher found that probiotics can make significant improvements to an individual's oral health. By preventing harmful microbes from multiplying, the use of probiotics may reduce the risk of developing several oral health conditions.
The group found that probiotics work by altering the pH levels of the mouth. This inhibits the growth of certain strains of streptococcus that are known to cause bad breath and gingivitis. Researchers wrote in their report, which was published in the Journal of the Indian Society of Periodontology, found that further studies could improve understanding of beneficial bacteria and lead to better treatment of certain conditions.
"Probiotics play an important role in combating issues with overuse of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance," they wrote. "Today's new technological era would be the right time to change the way bacteria are treated."
Due to the increasing interest and promising test results, many providers of oral care products are now offering items that are enriched with probiotics.