Dr. Rader, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

Dr. Rader, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814
Dr. Rader, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

One step closer to oral probiotic supplement

Probiotic for fighting oral bacteria that causes cavities.

One Step Closer to Oral Probiotic Supplement

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 1:42pm -- Editor

It seems like probiotics are everywhere these days; yogurt, kombucha and kimchi abound in nearly every supermarket. There's good reason for this trend – greater and greater amounts of evidence continue to merge that suggest our internal microbiome influences everything from our metabolism to our moods. Recently, a new beneficial strain of oral bacteria has been isolated by researchers at the University of Florida. This strain is of particular interest because it promotes a basic pH and seems to inhibit growth of S. mutans, the major culprit implicated in caries formation.

The strain, currently referred to as A12, is found more commonly in the mouths of people with few or no cavities. The bacteria creates ammonia from two common compounds in the mouth: urea (secreted naturally by the host) and arginine (an amino acid). This property is of interest to scientists and health professionals since it directly opposes the action of S. mutans, which ferments sugar into lactic acid, eroding the teeth. However, A12 goes further than just neutralizing acid in the oral environment – research indicates the bacteria can actually kill S. mutans.

Strain A12 competes vigorously against S. mutans by secreting peroxide bursts and interfering with the processes that allow it to form biofilms. The researchers found that when strain A12 was grown with S. mutans, the latter was unable to form effective plaque structures and did not grow as rapidly as usual.

This discovery holds both diagnostic and treatment potential. First, measuring the levels of A12 in a patient's mouth compared to other bacterial species could tell dentists about the greater state of the patient's oral health. This could be used to prevent caries and gingivitis before they begin. Second, a suspension of the microbes in saline could be used as a probiotic rinse, inoculating the patient with beneficial bacteria, which along with improved oral hygiene could rapidly change the oral health of a patient in need of improvement. The NIH agrees, recently awarding a three-million-dollar grant to USF to examine the activity of A12 and similar bacteria.


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