Probiotic BLIS M18 May Reduce the Risk of Dental Caries in Children
Dental caries are the decay and crumbling of a tooth or bone, also known as cavities. A recent study suggests that taking tablets containing the probiotic BLIS M18 may lower dental caries-related risk factors by 30% in children at high risk for dental caries.
BLIS M18 is a specific strain of Streptococcus salivarius, which secretes powerful antimicrobial molecules called BLIS: Bacteriocin-Like-Inhibitory Substances. BLIS M18 works through multiple mechanisms to inhibit the growth of bacteria such as S. mutans, which is involved in the development of dental caries.
Participants in the study included 76 children between the ages of 6 and 17 who were at high-risk of developing dental caries. Over the course of 90 days, they were assigned either slowly dissolving oral tablets containing no fewer than 1 billion colony-forming units of BLIS M18 or no intervention.
At the conclusion of the study, the BLIS M18 group had a 30% reduction in the global Cariogram outcome, including a 50% reduction in the amount of dental plaque the children had. The group also had a 75% reduction in mutans strepococci, which is a bacterial species that has been linked to the development of caries.
Researchers from Velleja Research conducted the study. It was published on October 3, 2015, in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dentistry.
Probiotics are most commonly known for improving digestion and gut health, but they have also been linked to other health benefits including weight loss, a stronger immune system, and a reduced risk of chronic disease. Previous studies have linked Streptococcus salivarius to protection against halitosis, dental caries and otitis media.