Oral health

A promising market for innovative probiotics

Oral health conditions affect billions worldwide and have a significant negative impact on people’s health, but also their quality of life, well beyond the “nice teeth” aesthetic consideration. Today, oral health represents a multi-billion market, with the prospect for growth.

Just as the gut, the oral cavity harbors a rich and complex microflora: a balanced oral microflora seems to be a key to maintaining good oral health. In this context, certain probiotics properties and mechanisms of action appear relevant to the oral cavity issues. Oral health represents today a promising area for probiotics applications, especially as consumer’s demands rise for natural approaches.

Based on its 80 years of expertise in probiotics selection and development, Lallemand Health Solutions has developed a new probiotic offer to address the oral health market. This offer combines proprietary documented strains and adapted dosage forms. Since the digestive tract starts in the mouth, this new offer complements the company’s existing gut health range and enables to provide consumers a holistic ‘digestive well-being’ approach: from the mouth… to the gut!

Probiotic approach for oral health

As the most common oral health problems appear to be linked to bacteria activity, the idea of applying probiotic to maintain oral health is becoming increasingly popular among the dental profession and consumers. It does represent a positive approach vs. the common approach: we are now aware that a microbe-free environment is a utopia and does not last for very long! Eliminating all bacteria through aggressive methods soon leaves room for undesirable bacteria to colonize the empty space. It thus appears a more natural, targeted and gentle approach to maintain bad bacteria at bay through a positive microflora balance.

Benefits of probiotics in maintaining a healthy and balanced lower digestive system are now well recognized and enjoy a high level of clinical evidence. When looking closely at the oral health issues, it appears that many of the probiotic modes of action could also benefit the oral cavity: their ability to:

  • Adhere to the epithelial surface
  • Compete with other microorganisms
  • Modulate the host immune response

In vitro screening of LHS probiotics modes of action in oral health

As part of on-going screening and characterization program, LHS probiotic strains are tested for their ability to produce H2O2, metabolite produced by lactobacilli which compete with the growth of microorganisms such as Streptococcus mutans. Positive strains include L. rhamnosus HA-111, L. brevis HA-112, L. salivarius HA-118 L. plantarum HA-119, L. helveticus HA-128, L. fermentum HA-179, L. reuteri HA-188 and L. helveticus Rosell®-52.

This strain characterization program also covers the competition with other microorganisms, e.g. the in vitro S. mutans growth competition test (Agar spot test method). All strains recommended for the healthy teeth positioning have been shown to compete with S. mutans in vitro. In vivo, L. helveticus LAFTI® L10 has shown the ability to enhance Candida albicans clearance from the oral cavities of mice following an oral administration [Elahi, 2005].

Oralis SB, 6 clinical studies for healthy teeth and gums

Oralis SB (marketed under Darolac® brand in India) is a unique combination of four probiotic strains: Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell®52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell®11, Bifidobacterium longum Rosell®175 and Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-1079.

The benefits of Oralis SB have been studied in 6 human clinical trials, along with the in vitro documentation of its modes of action.

Supporting healthy teeth

Oralis SB significantly reduces the salivary count of S. mutans in children, as compared to a placebo [Jindal, 2011]. The authors mentioned in conclusion that “probiotics might be used as a suitable, easy and safe method” for teeth health.

In addition, the study Jothika et al., 2015 demonstrated the decrease of S. mutans from buccal plaque sample vs. placebo in a population of young adults. Oralis SB, a natural product, showed an equivalent effect as compared to chlorhexidine and sodium fluoride mouthwashes.

Supporting healthy gums

The Oralis SB combination also reduced dental plaque accumulation in children, when compared to placebo, but also to traditional antiseptic mouthrinse [Thakkar, 2013], which prompted the authors to conclude that this probiotic preparation “can be viewed as a potential alternative to chlorhexidine mouthrinsefor gum health.

Purunaik et al., 2014 demonstrated the support of gum health by Oralis SB in children by significantly reducing the gingivitis index (an indicator of oral health), when compared to placebo but also to chlorhexidine (p< 0.01) [Purunaik, 2014].

Jindal et al., 2017 and Deshmukh et al., 2017 recently demonstrated beneficial effects of Oralis SB on both plaque score and gingivitis index (indicators of oral health) in adults.