Do you get a tickle in the tonsil? An irritation in the airway? An odour in the oral cavity? Probiotics for the oral cavity may be the simple answer you are looking for.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are the good guys! Probiotics are natural live bacteria that offer a beneficial effect to the host consumer and can come in many types e.g. tablets, drinks, capsules and yogurts. Probiotics have traditionally been targeted for the intestine, however, recent research has shown that any place bacteria live naturally on your body, can benefit from the appropriate probiotic. Significant recent research has focussed on the benefit of probiotics for the mouth.
Probiotics for the mouth
Your mouth contains over 600 different species of bacteria. In a healthy mouth, both good and bad bacteria coexist in an equilibrium called homeostasis. However, this balance can shift due to antibiotics, dietary habits or poor hygiene allowing the pathogens to take over and cause diseases such as strep throat, oral thrush, dental caries or periodontitis (gum disease). In fact, the status of your oral health can provide a window into your overall general health with recent links being found between gum disease and cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis. Therefore it is now even more important to take steps to ensure good oral health.
In addition to good oral hygiene habits, you can go a step further by maintaining the homeostasis of your mouth with probiotics. BLIS probiotics are specific for the mouth and are the “first probiotic from the mouth, for the mouth”. They contain a natural safe human bacterium called Streptococcus salivarius. While everyone has this bacterium on their tongue, BLIS K12 is a special variant of this species.
How do probiotics for the oral cavity work?
BLIS K12 is an advanced probiotic meaning that it has capabilities standard probiotics don’t. The main purpose of BLIS probiotics is to actively colonise the intended target site (mouth) blocking attachment sites for pathogenic bacteria, while other probiotics flush through your system. Furthermore, BLIS probiotics have the unique ability to produce small inhibitory molecules known as BLIS. These have been shown in the lab to inhibit many of the bacterial pathogens causing diseases of the oral cavity and airways. BLIS probiotics act to restore the microbial balance in the oral cavity ensuring you have a healthy mouth.
When to take BLIS probiotics?
Support your immune system with a healthy mouth:
Analogous to looking after your garden, maintaining a healthy balance of oral bacteria can help to prevent diseases taking hold. Weeding out the nasties by good oral hygiene practises can be supplemented with the seeding of healthy probiotic bacteria such as S. salivarius BLIS K12. To achieve this, taking one BLIS K12 lozenge once a day helps to ensure that you receive a significant dose of bacteria.
Help prevent sore throats this winter:
Sore throats occur more frequently in winter. In many cases these are caused by certain bacteria and can be spread easily through droplets in the air from sneezing and coughing, or directly through touch. Symptoms include sore throats and pain in swallowing. Strep throat can lead to more serious complications such as rheumatic fever. Two independent clinical trials in Italy found taking a daily dose of BLIS probiotics helped to reduce the incidence of strep throat infections in both adults and children. Furthermore, children had lowered levels of ear infections (otitis media) as well. Therefore the simple small step of sucking a lozenge once a day could lead to a healthier (and happier) winter.
Give yourself a better breath:
Halitosis is the medical term for chronically bad breath. Many factors including diet, oral hygiene and even the presence or absence of certain bacteria can cause malodour in the mouth. While not technically a disease, its effects are nonetheless embarrassing and socially awkward. Interestingly, chronic sufferers of halitosis have been shown to have lower levels of S. salivarius than in a healthy mouth! Certain black-pigmented bacteria are known to contribute to oral malodour. These bacteria can produce volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs)-small chemicals that cause your breath to smell. BLIS K12 has been shown to inhibit the bacteria that produce VSCs.
A regime of probiotic lozenges to repopulate the mouth with healthy bacteria following a rinse with a mouthwash and action with a tongue scraper has clinically been shown to significantly reduce oral malodour in human subjects. Better breath could be just a lozenge away.
Is it safe?
Yes! BLIS products have been extensively tested for safety and are sourced from ISO22000 registered production facilities.
So, next time you get a lurgy in the larynx or a sniffle in the snoz, perhaps it’s time to add oral probiotics to your daily routine!
By Dr John Hale (BSc (Hons), PhD)
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