Do you feel like no matter how many times you brush your teeth throughout the day (or how many tiny cups of extra-strength mouthwash you swig), you still need to pop a couple of mints and a piece of gum? Feel self-conscious about your breath when you’re out talking to people?
You’re not alone. In fact, studies show that about half of the humans on this planet struggle with odious breath. For those afflicted, it can be a stressful and embarrassing ordeal. It can also be incredibly stubborn.
Where Does Bad Breath Come From?
Ongoing research is taking a closer look at the root of bad breath, specifically examining the bacteria that lives within our oral microbiome. It looks like the bacteria that dwells beneath the surface of the tongue, throat and tonsils can produce volatile, sulfur-producing compounds (VSC) that give you some seriously stinky breath. Dry mouth (lack of oxygen) can also contribute to the problem, making your mouth the perfect bad-breath breeding ground.
We Could Be Making It Worse
Typically, we try to disguise bad breath with any products we think will work – mouth rinses, gums, sprays and more. Not only do these often fall short of actually helping, but they also might be doing more harm than good!
Did you know that while mouthwash kills most of the bad bacteria in your mouth, it also kills good bacteria like S. salivarius? When S. salivarius is present, it works to crowd out the odor-causing bacteria which backs bad breath into a corner to annihilate it. So it’s important to keep this super-hero bacteria plentiful.
This new information suggests that the best solution for banishing bad breath in the long-term may be contrary to what we’ve thought for years: rather than focusing on wiping out all bacteria, leading experts are now suggesting that the best strategy is to repopulate your oral cavity with strains of good bacteria, also known as probiotics.
How Oral Probiotics Can Target Bad Breath
We already know about the wonderful health benefits of probiotics designed to improve digestion and repopulate good bacteria in the gut.
If you’re not so familiar with probiotics, here’s a bit of background. Different from antibiotics, probiotics are all about balancing the good bacteria with the bad. The health of your microbiome (the world of bacteria that resides in and on your body) relies on a strong probiotic defense and proper flora balance.
Probiotics come in all shapes and sizes, and new types of probiotics have recently been discovered, studied and released to the public that have game beyond the gut – they’re called oral probiotics.
The targeted organisms in oral probiotics work to halt some unwanted forms of microbes from thriving in the oral cavity by introducing beneficial bacteria that establish themselves and consume the resources that both need to survive and multiply.
New oral care probiotics that contain S. salivarius K12 and S. salivarius M18 can actually help support many aspects of oral health that many of us face each day. These probiotics create BLIS proteins (good bacteria that produce antibacterial proteins) that stand up to many oral issues, including bad breath.
Here’s how it works:
Most bacteria, including S. salivarius, duke it out with other microorganisms for space and nutrients within the sinuses and oral cavity. This ongoing competition helps maintain a healthy balance of oral bacteria, keeping the non odor-causing bacteria plentiful so there isn’t room for smelly compounds to flourish.
Using an S. salivarius K12 probiotic on a consistent basis can increase the levels of the beneficial S. salivarius bacteria in the mouth. As these microbes affix themselves to epithelial cells (cells that line the major cavities of your body, like your mouth), they can quickly travel and spread, restoring the balance of beneficial bacteria needed to effectively reduce bad breath by inhibiting the growth of VSC-producing bacteria.
In fact, a 2006 study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology found that 85% of the people studied who ate a lozenge containing S. salivarius K12 substantially reduced the amount of VSC in their oral cavity.
That’s why we’ve formulated Hyperbiotics PRO-Dental with these key strains in mind, to offer the most effective support of the oral microbiome available.
Other Health Issues Oral Probiotics Can Help With
The power of BLIS proteins and other targeted bacterial strains included in a quality oral probiotic can help optimize oral health at the microbial level, also working to help you maintain healthy ears, nose throat and sinuses.
The probiotic S. salivarius M18 even produces an enzyme that helps dissolve and loosen the the sticky bits of gunk surrounding your teeth, which can go along way in the achievement of naturally healthy teeth and gums.
When your oral microbiome is populated with healthy probiotic colonies, you have a strong offensive team when it comes to nasty little invaders that can create chaos. You see, in many ways, your mouth is not only your first line of defense but also the gatekeeper of your health.
If you have a serious health issue or problem, probiotics alone may not be enough to help with your condition.You may require other medical care or decide to talk to your doctor about other lifestyle changes you might consider to alleviate the problems you are experiencing.
While many factors can contribute to the maintenance of oral health, taking an oral probiotic is a great place to start if you want to improve bad breath, repopulate your oral microbiome and revamp your oral health.
Julie Hays is the Communications Director here at Hyperbiotics. Health writer and mama of two little girls, Julie's on a mission to empower others to live lives free of the microbial depletion many of us face today. For more ideas on how you can maximize wellness and benefit from the power of probiotics, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.
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