Beat Bad Breath, Keep Good Bacteria

Feb 23, 2017

Introduction

Bad breath or halitosis is a major concern for millions of people. About 90% of halitosis originates within the oral cavity. For the majority of patients with halitosis, it causes embarrassment and affects their social communication and life. An important clinical feature of halitosis is that patients are unaware of their own bad breath.

Researchers have figured out years ago that gas-emitting bacteria on the tongue and below the gum line are largely responsible for rotten breath. Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSCs) is the main culprit behind bad breath. The main components of bad breath are hydrogen sulfide and dimethyl sulfide, which smell like rotten eggs and rotten seaweed respectively. The kind of smell that is greatly offensive to the people in their surroundings. These smelly compounds are waste products released by millions of bacterial feasting on particles of food and tissue in our mouth. When bacteria that release smelly compounds dominate, chronic bad breath may be one of the consequences.

There are many ways to freshen one’s breath, from mints and chewing gums, compulsive brushing and flossing, to repeatedly rinsing with mouthwashes. All these solutions offer only temporary relief and do not improve oral ecology, in fact, they might make matters worse. Certain mouthwashes merely mask unpleasant odors, alcohol-based rinses sold in drugstores and prescription rinses containing chlorhexidine or other antiseptics target all oral bacteria. However, it has drawbacks, for example, a chlorhexidine rinse may improve breath for as long as 24 hours but will stain teeth and may interfere with your taste buds. Heavy use of rinses with alcohol can dry out the mouth, sometimes worsen bad breath. Further, mouthwashes kill both good and bad bacteria which creates an imbalance in the flora environment and contribute to increase risk of oral cancers.

One of the most cutting-edge methods of stopping halitosis is oral care probiotics. Oral care probiotics is a system of bacterial replacement that may be quiet effective in stopping oral odor. Streptococcus salivarius (K12) is an oral care probiotic responsible to replace bacteria for bad breath. K12 is favorable and known to produce two anti-bacterial substances, Salivaricin A and B, which destroy harmful bacteria that causes bad breath. A study in the International Journal of Contemporary Dentistry noted that the addition of the Streptococcus salivarius bacteria into the mouth after rinsing with mouthwash can reduce the levels of smelly breath better than the mouthwash on its own. Other noteworthy applications of K12 is that K12 not only helps patient maintain and equalizes a healthy flora balance in the oral cavity and allows room for the good bacteria to thrive. It also helps support and maintain the immune system health of the ear, nose and throat, as well as the oral cavity. So, by changing your bacteria can often change the odors from your mouth. Perhaps Streptococcus salivarius (K12) is worth trying the next time you’re looking for a long-lasting positive effect on fresh breath solution.

References
 
  1. Deborah Franklin, 2013. Scientific American Online. [Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/beat-bad-breath-keep-mouth-bacteria-happy/ , 1st February 2017].
  2. Cortelli et al., 2008. Halitosis: a review of associated factors and therapeutic approach. Brazilian Oral Research, 22(Spec Iss 1): 44-54.
  3. ML Bollen C. and Beikler, T., 2012. Halitosis: the multidisciplinary approach. International Journal of Oral Science, 4, 55-63.
  4. Tangerman, A and Winkel, E.G., 2012. Volatile Sulfur Compounds as The Cause of Bad Breath: A Review. Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Silicon and the Related Elements, 188 (4):396-402.
  5. Dr. Harold Katz., 2011. Bad Breath? How Probiotics Can Help. [Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-harold-katz/bad-breath-probiotics_b_857506.html, 1st February 2017].