Dental Probiotics – The Answer to Bad Breath?
There has been a lot of popularity around the use of probiotics to improve oral health.
So, I’m here to answer a common question – do oral probiotics work?
Although further research needs to be performed, the results so far show that dental probiotics could be helpful in both preventing and treating infections in the mouth.
These also potentially include dental caries, gum disease, and bad breath.
Today I will talk about how dental probiotics work for bad breath and discuss some of the most popular brands to use.
I will also run through their pros and cons, and whether they are really worth it.
Let’s begin straight away, so you can think about whether making the investment in dental probiotics is the right choice for your health.
Can Dental Probiotics Cure Bad Breath?
So, let’s say you have a lingering case of chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis.
And it does not matter how much you brush, floss, or chew, you cannot seem to get rid of it.
Can dental probiotics offer you the cure that you have been looking for?
Research is still being conducted, but the research that has been done suggests the good bacteria contained in the probiotics may potentially permanently and successfully treat the offensive odours coming from your mouth.
These are both good questions.
First, we need to look at the causes behind bad breath.
It’s a very hard problem to treat.
You may have tried mouthwash, toothpaste, chewing gum, and mints, and had no luck.
This is because they don’t deal with the root cause – generally, bad breath comes from a bacteria known as Volatile Sulfur Compounds or VSCs.
These bacteria are giving you a sign that your oral microbiome (that is, all of the microorganisms that reside in your oral cavity) is out of proportion.
Let’s move on to how dental probiotics work.
They can help return your oral microbiome back to its normal, healthy, delicate balance.
Why and how again, you ask?
Well, your oral flora (the total amount of microorganisms that reside in your mouth), carry out many roles in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
A big one being that they protect your mouth by fighting the bad bacteria.
But when things become unbalanced, they can lose this ability.
Why do things in your oral microbiome become unbalanced?
Well, your mouth is a hard place to live.
To shield themselves, microorganisms put up plaque (called biofilm) in your crevices, where they live.
Usually, both the good and bad bacteria live in a balanced manner, especially if you look after your oral flora.
But if you eat incorrect foods, take antibiotics, smoke, or don’t keep up your dental regime, this can change.
The good bacteria become weaker, allowing the bad bacteria to grow. Then the VSCs emerge.
So, it’s important to see bad breath as your oral microbiome being unbalanced.
As this review from the University of Connecticut states, the best way to rid yourself of embarrassing breath is not to try to ‘kill’ all the bad bacteria, but instead populate the mouth, replacing all the good bacteria.
This is the role an oral probiotic will play.
Further research has shown promising results:
• In this study, VSCs were considerably lessened in 85% of people that were given probiotic lozenges after one week.
• The discovery in this research was that using a probiotic mouthwash will lead to a notable reduction in you producing VSCs, which will help cut down any occasions of halitosis.
• An additional 3 studies on the use of probiotics for bad breath show that good probiotics can reduce the amount of VSCs.
Popular Dental Probiotic Brands Listed
Dental probiotics generally come in the form of lozenges, chewable tablets, mouthwashes, drinks, or even some kinds of toothpaste.
This is because they are meant to be able to sit in your mouth, giving them enough time to safeguard your oral microbiome.
These brands can be purchased from your local chemist:
Can’t leave the house?
These popular brands of dental probiotics are available for purchase online:
– Replenish the Good Dental Probiotic 60-Day Supply. Oral probiotics for Bad Breath, Tooth Decay, Strep Throat. Boosts Oral Health and Combats halitosis. Contains Streptococcus salivarius BLIS K12 & BLIS M18.
– Great Oral Health Children’s Oral Probiotics ~ Dentist Formulated 30 Lozenge Bottle ~ Seven Strains with Blis K12 & M18 ~ Probiotics for Kids ~ Attack Bad Breath, Cavities and Gum Disease ~83 Page eBook Included!
The Pros and Cons of K12 Probiotics
In dental probiotics, the Streptococcus salivarius strain K12 is particularly effective.
Research has shown that K12 decreases the growth of VSCs.
They set lantibiotics (the chemicals that nip these bad bacteria in the bud) free in your mouth.
This can potentially kill the bad bacteria, thereby stopping it from releasing the smelly odours in your mouth.
A study has shown that K12 probiotic lozenges are more beneficial against bad breath than mouthwash.
Mouthwash can ‘kill’ the good bacteria as well as the bad.
The issue with this is that the bacteria are able to repopulate extremely fast, so any aid that it provides against bad breath typically does not last long.
Whereas dental probiotics have the ability to create a more stable blend in your mouth.
More pros of K12 include it helps reduce:
Another huge pro is they are easy to use.
Many people have developed problems with their dental hygiene because they have limited ability.
A simple little lozenge taken on a regular basis could help so much.
In general, probiotics are considered to be safe, as they already exist naturally in your body.
However, as they are a live bacterium, people with weakened immune systems should refrain from taking them.
So, it’s not ideal for patients who are receiving chemotherapy, suffering from HIV/AIDS, or other conditions affecting their immune systems to take dental probiotics.
As always, you should check with your doctor before taking any supplements.
This is especially the case for children, pregnant women, elderly people, and anyone taking any medications.
You should also be careful to never exceed the dosage of probiotics that is advised by the manufacturers.
Any side-effects that may occur are:
- Allergic reactions.
- Mild stomach upset.
- Brain fog.
- Memory problems.
These will occur in the first few days of taking them and worsen after eating.
But it should clear up after a few days or weeks.
The Pros and Cons of Pro-B Probiotics
Pro-B is a chewable oral probiotic, flavoured with peppermint and spearmint.
It has four different probiotic strains.
Research has shown that the benefits of these strains are:
- L. paracasei – Potentially able to assist you in the war against cavities and periodontal disease.
- L. reuteri – Prevents bottle caries, periodontitis, and may be able to stop or reduce symptoms of gingivitis.
- L. acidophilus – May be able to resist tooth decay. Can improve your gingival state and plaque inhibition.
- L. salivarius – Can stop your teeth from becoming decayed. Also lessens your “gingival pocket depth” – that is, the space between your gum and teeth.
While these strains can assist your oral health, more research is necessary to provide clarity on the supplement’s exact effectiveness, and which condition it works best for.
There also isn’t much information on Pro-B and whether it is able to assist you with halitosis.
Any difference you notice may be due to the capsule’s peppermint and spearmints flavours.
Again, it isn’t likely you will experience unpleasant side effects from taking Pro-B, as long as you take the recommended amount.
But some possible after-effects, especially if taking dosages higher than recommended, are:
Are Oral / Dental Probiotics Worth It?
We certainly do not want to downplay the effectiveness that dental probiotics can have.
Certain people will do well if they use chewable oral probiotics.
These are those that have the following conditions.
This condition means you don’t make enough saliva in your mouth.
It is often caused by cancer treatments.
An oral probiotic will raise your levels of good bacteria, and fight against gum inflammation and diseases that tend to thrive in people who have dry mouths.
Diabetics have a greater chance of getting gingivitis.
An oral probiotic can fight the symptoms and strength of this.
Breathe Through Their Mouth
If you breathe with your mouth open while sleeping, this causes the inside of your mouth to dry out.
If this is the case, oral probiotics could give your mouth the revitalisation it needs.
Have Cavities or Gum Disease
These are both signalling that your oral health is at an unhealthy level.
If you have been advised that you have either of these conditions, taking an oral probiotic could assist, by encouraging the good bacteria to prevail over the bad bacteria.
More on Probiotics
However, probiotics are still at an entirely new point in the time of study in oral medicine.
Research, though positive, is still at early stages.
More studies will be needed to establish that they are a fail-safe way of fighting the mouth’s bacteria, to distinctly understand their potential, and how they can be used to prevent and treat dental infections.
These studies will identify which strain of probiotics is best used in the oral microbiome, as well as the best means of delivery.
For now, having a good dental regime – brushing morning and night, flossing, and attending your regular dental check-ups – are still your best, safest ways to make sure that your teeth stay clean, bright and healthy.
Other natural methods, as well as any potential causes that you can eliminate, can be seen in this post of mine, “Getting to the Root of Halitosis”.
These methods will all give you instant relief from bad breath, whereas dental probiotics may take some time to do their thing.
So, to sum up, if you have good oral health, there is really no need to use oral probiotics, as you do not need to change the bacteria levels in your mouth.
If you keep up with your brushing and flossing and visiting your dentist, then these will not be necessary.
But if you do happen to get advised that you have dental conditions like cavities or gum disease, an oral probiotic may be helpful.
If you suffer from an ongoing case of bad breath, dental probiotics may be the natural solution you have been looking for.
So, why not ask your Dentist about using them?
Both good and bad bacteria live inside your mouth.
Using a lozenge, chewable tablet, mouthwash, drink, or toothpaste that contains strain/s of probiotics can give a lengthier exposure time than other methods.
So, more good bacteria are able to settle into your oral cavity.
Research, though new, is promising.
Researchers are also continuing to uncover how probiotics have an effect on your oral health.
But it’s important to note, if your bad breath lingers, you should see your doctor or dentist.
Halitosis can be a sign of another health problem.
But, while it is important to take a lingering case of bad breath seriously, you should also never let it hold you back.
Please, always be proud to smile that beautiful smile of yours!
By Andrew Adams
Created at October 01, 2021, Updated at October 05, 2021