What are oral care probiotics and what do they do?
SUMMARY: Probiotics help support your body's ability to protect against cavities, bad breath, gum disease and even sore throats.
Posted: August 6, 2014
Oral care probiotics are defined as living microbes, which are single-cell organisms so tiny that millions can fit into the eye of a needle and are often found in food ingredients. As the prefix "pro-" suggests, probiotics benefit health - essentially serving good bacteria that fight off bad bacteria responsible for bad breath and other oral health issues.
While probiotics have traditionally been associated with gut balance, many dentists recommend putting them to use for oral health. Besides acting as a shield against halitosis, these good bacteria work to fight cavities, gum disease and even sore throats by balancing the microflora in the mouth.
Probiotic effects are strain-specific. Dr. Katz's TheraBreath Probiotic line features two probiotic strains: Streptococcus salivarius K12 and M18. According to the National Institutes of Health, S. salivarius "is a prominent member of the oral microbiota and has excellent potential for use as a probiotic targeting the oral cavity." The ingredient is found naturally in healthy humans and helps disintegrate foul-smelling bacteria known to cause bad breath.
Another study published in National Institutes of Health demonstrated that S. salivarius M18 killed of the main bacteria responsible for cavities: S. mutans. In the report, scientists concluded that "S. salivarius M18 can provide oral benefits when taken regularly."
Together, the two probiotic strains create antimicrobial agents that seek and destroy the bad bacteria that trigger cringe-worthy breath, tooth decay and a handful of other problems. More specifically, the microbial agents target individual pathogens such as as the creator of lactic acid, which wears down the enamel of the tooth, eventually leading to cavities.
At the end of the day, what you need to know is that probiotic strains reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, working to restore oral immune health.
Probiotics defeat bad breath
Halitosis may not be a disease, but it certainly can be a discomfort and sometimes a symptom of an underlying condition. In certain cases, periodontitis may be the behind-the-scenes cause of halitosis.
According to the European Journal of Dentistry, 9 out of 10 times the origin for bad breath can be traced to the oral cavity. But there's good news: These oral care probiotics work on both mouth- and gut-associated halitosis.
Directions on how to use oral care probiotics
1. For TheraBreath products, the oral care probiotics come in the form of a stick. Before using it, you can brush your teeth, tongue and inside cheeks with the provided toothpaste to prepare for treatment. Mix one stick pack with about 2 ounces of water (two mouthfuls) until the stick is fully dissolved.
2. Then rinse your mouth thoroughly for one minute with 1 ounce of the mixture (one mouthful). Spit. Gargle for 30 seconds with next mouthful. Spit.
3. If additional solution remains, rinse it out until it's gone.
4. Use the treatment twice a day or as otherwise indicated.