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March 23rd, 2020

Your Question Answered: Can Probiotics Help Prevent Bad Breath?

Category: cincinnati dentist

Can Probiotics Help Prevent Bad Breath?

Have you heard of probiotics? They’ve been quite the buzz in the world of health and wellness recently. So, what’s the deal? Are they naturally occurring? Are they a supplement? Can they tackle bad breath?!

Don’t sweat it—we did the research so you don’t have to.

What’s a Probiotic, Anyway?

Let’s start by diving into what exactly probiotics actually are. Put simply, they’re a family of different bacteria. But wait, isn’t bacteria bad?

Not all the time! Probiotics are live microorganisms that can actually be beneficial to your body’s regular functions and overall health. For example, they aid in food digestion, vitamin production, and even the fight against harmful cells susceptible to disease. Additionally, probiotics contain many of the same microorganisms that already naturally live within our bodies! Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two of the most prominent groups of probiotic bacteria (try saying that three times fast!)

Wondering where you can find safe sources of these bacteria? Although there’s an array of different ways to consume probiotics, they are primarily found in highly fermented foods, beauty products, and dietary supplements (1).

Culprits of Bad Breath

In our quest to unveil whether or not probiotics can combat bad breath, we figure we should explain what causes bad breath in the first place (hint: it’s not just Doritos!)

Remember when we said that bacteria weren’t all bad? Well, some types of bacteria are bad. More specifically, gas-producing sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan can cause foul breath. Usually resulting from an oral cavity, these compounds can get stuck below the gums and on the tongue. In rarer cases, issues within the stomach, lungs, or even the liver can be the culprit for bad breath (2).

Don’t forget: if you’re regularly practicing good oral hygiene and still experiencing chronic bad breath, it’s never a bad idea to have us take a look. 

Research Says Probiotics Can Help Reduce Bad Breath

Kicking Bad Breath to the Curb: How Probiotics Can Help

And drumroll please… probiotics can help! Some recent exciting research at the University of Connecticut reveals that the war against bad breath heavily relies on arming your mouth with good bacteria. And as you now know, some of those good bacteria can be found in probiotics. (3)

More specifically, Streptococcus salivarius strains K12 and M18 are two oral probiotics that can help to stop bad bacteria growth in its tracks. These strains of probiotics can be found in probiotic lozenges. There are a number of lozenges on the market, just be sure to choose one geared towards dental protection (3).

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should throw out all of your regular oral hygiene practices. As always, remember that properly brushing, flossing, and rinsing your teeth will do wonders for your breath (and pearly whites!)

Hagen Dental is Here to Help

Want to learn more about healthy oral habits? We’re happy to help! We always treat you with kindness and compassion at Hagen Dental. We’re here to earn your trust with personalized, gentle care. Call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button here to schedule your next visit.

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