Mix cloves and halitosis, and what do you get? The short answer, according to a recent study, is a slight reduction in microbial growth in the mouth. However, the mechanism of action of clove extract is antibiotic, and a growing body of medical literature suggests that probiotics may be the more effective way to beat back bad breath.
A report published in the Journal of Biologically Active Products from Nature found that mixing a minimum of 60 to 120 microliters of clove oil into a liter of solution resulted in the destruction of a bacterial colony.
Besides being used for centuries to reduce the pain of toothaches, clove oil may be able to act as an oral microbicide, the research team said.
While antibacterial products may reduce the extent of bad breath, they ultimately do not alleviate it. No microbicide is 100 percent effective at killing all oral microorganisms, meaning that after its application, those microbes that remain in the mouth quickly multiple and recolonize it.
To constructively attack halitosis, it may be necessary to use a probiotic mixture, like the Blis K-12 Probiotic Pack, to replace odor-causing bacteria with less irritating varieties.
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