From a ground-breaking 30 year microbiology research project lead by Professor John Tagg at New Zealand’s University of Otago, the world’s first oral probiotic supplements have been developed to specifically promote and maintain a healthy mouth, teeth and gums by replenishing healthy bacteria.
BLIS is short for Bacteriocin-Like Inhibitory Substances. These potent anti-microbial molecules are produced only by certain strains of beneficial Streptococcus salivarius – bacteria that appears in the mouth of newborns within hours after birth. It is one of the most dominant of the bacteria which naturally form part of the normal microbial flora of a healthy mouth.
The mouth is the most likely point of entry into the body for infectious germs. The oral cavity is our first line of defense so neutralising pathogens in the mouth is integral to maintaining wellness throughout the body. Mouth, throat, dental and upper respiratory tract infections can lead to serious illness in other organs, and research is now showing that the same microorganisms causing inflammatory gum diseases might also be linked to cardiovascular, pulmonary and diabetic diseases and preterm birth.
BLIS M18 for Dental Health
The Otago researchers found that different strains of S. salivarius produce BLIS molecules with specific target areas. One particular strain produces BLIS M18 molecules that actively target bacteria causing dental cavities, bad breath and gum disease. Colonising the mouth with BLIS M18 helps support against plaque build-up and bacteria responsible for tooth decay and the inflamed gums. BLIS M18 also produces enzymes that help neutralise acidity in the mouth, creating a better environment for dental enamel health.
BLIS K12 for Oral Infections
Another strain of S. salivarius produces BLIS K12 molecules. Their target is streptococcal and viral infections occurring around the back of the tongue, throat, voice box, nose and ears. In fact, the four pathogens targeted by BLIS K12 are responsible for almost all bacterial throat and tonsillitis infections in children and adults.
BLIS M18 and BLIS K12 are both available in supplement form as lozenges which can be sucked daily to support the health of the flora balance in the mouth and throat, due to their anti-microbial activity.
Children should be over 3 years in order to take these products, and of course good regular teeth cleaning practices are very important for maintaining your dental and oral health.
-The HealthPost Naturopaths
We’d Love Your Feedback
Have you tried either of these oral probiotics before?
If so what benefits have you noticed?
Do you have a favourite natural remedy for freshening breath?