Streptococcus salivarius K12: treating the root cause of bad breath

Streptococcus salivarius K12: treating the root cause of bad breath

Apr 6, 2017


It is not uncommon for people to have bad breath. Worldwide, there is 1 out of 3 people are suffering from bad breath. Bad breath is medically known as halitosis. It is an oral health condition characterized by consistently unpleasant breath emitted from a person’s mouth regardless of whether the odorous substances in the breath originate from oral or non-oral sources1.

How to check if you are having bad breath?

Most of the time, people are suffering from bad breath but they are not aware of it. Besides, it is quite hard to tell people that they are having bad breath without offending them or hurting their feelings. However, one may rely on their partner or family member to tell if they are having bad breath. Or else, one may try out some simple test that they can do it their own in order to detect a bad breath.

Type of Test   The Sniff Test2 The Spoon Test2

1. Lick your wrist

2. Wait a few seconds to let the saliva dry

3. Smell it

1. Invert a teaspoon

2. Place it at the back of the tongue

3. Scrap it

Result If your wrist smells unpleasant, it is likely your breath does too! Check the colour of the coating and smell it, the darker the colour, the more unpleasant your breath!
Have you ever figure it out how does bad breath happens?

Our mouth cavity is the home to billions of bacteria. When the bacteria break down proteins and other debris in the mouth, foul-smelling substances known as volatile sulphur components (VSCs) is produced. By measuring VSCs, one can tell the severity of bad breath.

What probiotic has to do with bad breath?

Clinical studies have demonstrated reduction of bad breath can be done by reducing the bad bacteria in the oral cavity3. Therefore, supplementing probiotic can help in reducing bad breath by kill off the bad bacteria in the oral cavity.

Which probiotic can help in reducing bad breath?

Not all the probiotics the same, probiotic is strain-specific, meaning each strains deliver different health benefits to the body. In order to fight for bad breath, one need to consume the right strains of probiotic which have been clinically proven for its health benefits. Streptococcus salivarius K12 is a specific strain of Streptococcus salivarius which able to produce powerful anti-microbial substances known as BLIS – Salivaricin A and B4. Studies have shown Streptococcus salivarius K12 is able to reduce bad breath within 7 days4.

Streptococcus salivarius K12 work through triple “PUNCH” of action4,5:

  1. Bacterial replacement therapy: Competing with pathogenic organism for colonization sites
  2. Producing anti-microbial substances known as BLIS – Salivaricin A and B
  3. Interacting with host cell to modulate the immune system
  1. Cortelli, J.R., Barbosa, M.D.S., and Westphal, M.A., 2008. Halitosis: a review of associated factors and therapeutic approach. Braz. oral res., 22(Spec Iss 1):44-54
  2. Davis and Dingle Family Dentistry, 2013.10 ways to know you have bad breath. Retrieved from
  3. Rösing, C.K. and Loesche W., 2011. Halitosis: an overview of epidemiology, etiology and clinical management. Braz Oral Res, 25(5): 466-71
  4. Burton, J.P., Chilcott, C.N., Moore, C.J., Speiser, G., & Tagg, J.R. 2005. A preliminary study of the effect of probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 on oral malodour parameters. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 100: 754-764.
  5. Cosseau, C. et al. 2008. The Commensal Streptococcus salivarius K12 downregulates the innate immune response of human epithelial cells and promotes host-microbe homeostasis. Infection and Immunity 76: 4163-4175.