Children consuming the probiotic for 90 days showed a statistically significant reduction to factors that may lead to dental caries.
Researchers in Italy have found that oral-health probiotic BLIS M18 may significantly improve chances of avoiding new dental caries in children most at risk for developing caries.
BLIS M18, a Streptoccocus salivarius probiotic from Blis Technologies (Dunedin, New Zealand) and Stratum Nutrition (St. Charles, MO), was found to be especially effective at reducing concentrations of harmful bacteria mutans streptococci, a major contributing factor of dental caries. Children consuming the probiotic for 90 days also showed a reduction in plaque amount and global Cariogram outcome, based on the Cariogram software program that assesses caries-related risk factors.
“Although requiring confirmation in a larger, controlled trial with development of caries as the primary outcome measure, these results suggest that BLIS M18 has the potential to complement a diligent oral hygiene program and nutritionally balanced diet in the ongoing battle against tooth decay,” says Joseph Evans, PhD, executive director of research and development for Stratum Nutrition.
The randomized, controlled study included 76 children aged 6–17 who were considered to be at high risk for developing dental caries, based on Cariogram results. The subjects were randomized to consume either an oral supplement containing BLIS M18 or no treatment for 90 days.
While the control group did not present a statistically different Cariogram score over the course of the study, the BLIS M18 group had a statistically significant reduction to global Cariogram outcome of more than 30%, including a 50% reduction to plaque amount and a 75% reduction to mutans streptocci.
Researchers noted that the observed effects may be attributed to BLIS M18’s production of beneficial enzymes dextranase and urease in the oral cavity, which can counteract saliva acidity and plaque formation. Additionally, bacteriocins released by the probiotic may disrupt development of mutans streptococci.
“The results indicate that the use of salivarius M18 increases the chances of avoiding new dental caries development in children, and its application could be proposed as a new tool in the dentist’s armory to be adopted in subjects considered at high risk on the basis of their Cariogram outcome,” researchers concluded.
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Di Pierro F et al., “Cariogram outcome after 90 days of oral treatment with Streptococcus salivarius M18 in children at high risk for dental caries: results of a randomized, controlled study,” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dentistry, vol. 7 (October 2015): 107–113